For the first time since 1978, Maryland is ranked this week in both the Associated Press and United Press International college football polls. The Terrapins, winners of six straight, are 17th in UPI's coaches poll and 19th in AP's poll of writers and broadcasters.
Still, some of the Terrapins were disappointed.
And many were shocked that North Carolina was ranked higher, considering Maryland's 31-24 victory over the Tar Heels' in Chapel Hill Saturday.
"Well, it's nice to be ranked," said quarterback Boomer Esiason. "I guess it's a sign people are starting to respect us. But wait a minute, if we're only 17th and 19th, I guess we still don't have much respect."
"That's no respect," said tight end Ron Fazio. "They put North Carolina ahead of us in both polls?"
North Carolina is 5-2 overall, 2-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while Maryland is 6-2 and 4-0, and leading the ACC by one-half game over Clemson.
"I heard the rankings on the radio this morning," said defensive guard Tyrone Furman, "but when the guy said '17th and 19th' I thought I was half asleep and rolled over and asked my roommate if I heard it correctly. I was a little angry."
"I guess they don't want to shoot us up in the rankings too quickly," said cornerback Jon Simmons. "But I guess it's hard to do those rankings. People in different parts of the country see some teams more than others and get familiar with them."
Tony Edwards, a defensive tackle, looked at it differently.
"If we keep winning, they'll have to put us higher than that. People will have to recognize us sooner or later. The thing that's kind of funny is that nobody before the season expected us to be .500. Now people are saying 17th and 19th are too low."
Said Esiason: "It is good since there are a lot of guys on this team who've never had the experience of being ranked. I don't think I've experienced it, so there won't be a problem with us staying hungry."
Bobby Ross, named "National Coach of the Week" by UPI, said, "It really doesn't matter to me whether we are ranked at all."
In the 1980 season, Maryland was ranked No. 19 by AP after three games and 20th by UPI at the end of the regular season. The Terrapins lost that year to Florida, 35-20, in the Tangerine Bowl. In 1978 Maryland finished the season at No. 20 in AP after losing to Texas, 42-0, in the Sun Bowl. The Terrapins won their first eight games that year and were ranked in both polls.
What some players found more important than the polls is the increased area interest in Maryland football. The largest crowd of the season, more than 42,000, is expected to watch Saturday's game against Miami of Florida in Byrd Stadium.
Approximately 3,100 tickets were sold Monday. There are still tickets available for Miami, as well as for Clemson (Nov. 13), the last home game. Maryland officials will decide this week whether to install additional stands to increase capacity beyond the current 44,000 for the Clemson game.
That game, which will determine the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, may be regionally televised by CBS or ABC.
Miami, which had been ranked earlier this season, fell out of the top 20 after a 24-7 loss Saturday to 12th-ranked Florida State.
Miami Coach Howard Schnellenberger was so upset he scrimmaged the Hurricanes at 8:30 Sunday morning. Mark Richt, who had started the last five games at quarterback in place of the injured Jim Kelly, has been benched because he violated a dormitory policy. Freshman Kyle Vanderwende will start against Maryland.