Maryland, the 100th anniversary champion, retains the favorite's role today as the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America track meet races into its second century at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
The Terrapins rolled up 94 points a year ago and figure to top 100 this time, with The Washington Post form chart giving Maryland 113 to 75 for runnerup Villanova, the indoor champion.
Maryland coach Frank Costello concedes that such a result is possible, but he notes some problems areas and also points to the threat of rain as a potential hinderance.
"We're going up to win it," Costello said, "I want to win it bad after we lost indoors. We're the favored team I'm sure. But I'm concerned.Some of our guys have not been at their best the last couple of weeks and, if it rains, it will hurt us more than Villanova."
Five finals will be contested today, and the Terrapins are rated high in three - the long jump, discus and javelin.
A year ago, a one-two-three long-jump finish virtually assured Maryland of victory almost before the meet had begun. But defending champion John Davenport has been off form and Dennis Ivory, after a 25-4 1/2 effort in the Atlantic Coast Conference meet April 22, has slipped a bit, too.
"I'm concerned about the long jump," Costello said, "but if their steps are on, they'll do all right. There are no super jumpers in there. Our guys always jump well and I'll be disappointed if they don't beat that field."
Jim Kirby defends his title in the javelin and Scott Hersh ranks No. 1 among IC4A discus men. Kirby, who set a school record of 262-6 in the ACC meet, has dropped off since, but Costello expects him to win.
Like Davenport, Tom Anderson will find himself an underdog to a teammate when he defends his shot put crown on Saturday. Ian Pyka holds the school standard of 61:5 and figures to lead a one-two Maryland finish in the surest bet of the meet.
Greg (Fly) Robertson is Maryland's big man on the track. He is the favorite in the 110-meter high hurdles, should finish among the leaders in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and will lead off the Terrapins' excellent 400-meter relay team.
Although Maryland is not quite up to Villanova in the two relays, it should score well. The key is Mike Peniston, apparently 100 per cent again after suffering from cramps.
Maryland has entered 38 men, a group second in size only to the 50 listed by host Penn, the Heptagonal champion. Villanova has entered 24.
Navy has one of the large delegations, with 33, but only Daryl Anderson, in the 400 meters, and high hurdler Tony Campbell rank among the leaders. Jim Peterson, in the 5,000 meters, is Georgetown's top contender for an individual title.