Who's afraid of the big bad Terps, with football practice just about here?

In 1976, the inaugural preseason poll of ACC media accorded Coach Jerry Claiborne's troops 57 of 62 first-place votes (and they won it all). In 1977, Maryland drew 69 of 75 nods to repeat (but finished in a third-place tie as their long conference winning steak perished). And now-the experts reckon Clemson and North Carolina both will beat out Maryland in the 1978 ACC race.

Of 86 sportswriters and 'casters voting', 37 went for Clemson, 33 for UNC, 10 for Maryland 6, for N.C. State. On a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point basis for first, second, etc, the totals are Clemson 511, North Carolina 505, Maryland 439, N.C. State 403. Duke 279, Wake Forest 149 and Virginia 122.

Clemson will star quarterback Steve Fuller, Carolina looses tailback Famous Amos Lawrence, N.C. State will give the ball to 5-10, 180-pound Ted Brown 40 times a game if, as Coach Bo Rein says. "we can still have him able to play every Saturday," and Claiborne told the media gathered in Greensboro, N.C., he still hasn't settled on a first-string quarterback.

The youth movement in varsity baseball coaching on D.C. campuses continues. Georgetown has replaced retired Tommy Nolan, 65, with Ken Kelly, 27, Kelly was the catcher on the Eastern champion 1970 Dartmouth squad and lately has been cutting a nice figure with the D.C. Tigers of the Washington Metropolitan League-as player-coach, he led the team to a 22-0 conference record and 70-33 overall in 1977 hit, 340 and was league MVPGU hopes Kelly, president of a custom building firm here, can build the Hoyas into a contender...

NBA Commissioner Larry O'Brien has directed the Houston Rockets to settle with Golden State by Monday on compensation for signing former Warrior Rick Barry or he'll do it for'em. Rocket President Ray Patterson is quoted as expecting to lose a key player or two, including John Lucas-and the third-year pro guard out of Maryland said the Warriors had contacted him, that "I knew they were interested in me from the jump." The Warriors also pressed for Moses Malone, but O'Brien in most previous such cases (four of five) made theteam losing the free agent settle for draft picks and cash...