Here are my thoughts over the selection of the University of Maryland for the Military Bowl.
My disappointment begins with the fact that 2 weeks ago my sights were on the dream of playing in the Orange Bowl as the BCS representative for the ACC. After not playing in the ACC Title game, the placement of Maryland in any of the inferior bowls (3rd through 8th) would be a letdown. The people I feel sorry for are the valiant student athletes who fought their way back from a 2-10 season to bring respectability back to the program. The selection process is clearly flawed or how else could an inferior NC State team be selected over Maryland for the 3rd place Bowl. I was at the game, The Champs Sports Bowl Committee was there, both athletic directors were there, Maryland decisively dismantled the Wolfpack. The Terps were and are clearly better. If Commissioner Swofford had us placed in the Military Bowl no matter what (with the exception being a BCS spot) then just come out early and say it.
Now the fact that the game is in DC and Maryland’s support could help make the game a success is the positive spin. The negative spin is that we were relegated to the Bowl because our home attendance was off this year. On the basis of the reasoning I have read, that attendance and travel ability supercedes record, one could make a case that USC, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Notre Dame should automatically be placed in the highest structure.
What troubles me the most is : Does this represent a total lack of respect from the ACC (All Carolina Conference). Is it bad enough that almost every year we have to play the Basketball Tournament in “neutral” Greensboro or Charlotte. Is the continued placement of our games on the internet hurting us and recruitment?
Here is the bottom line. We should support this game because it’s our players and our team that is there —not to prove a point to the ACC. It was an honor to play Navy and a honor to compete in a classic that represents our Military. We have nothing to prove. Our athletic program is as strong or stronger then any other one in the conference. We can be proud that we run a clean program with the utmost of academic standards and integrity. But let us not forget how we are being treated in the ACC.
Remember this much, nothing can take away from the fabulous job the team did this year. We finished 8-4 and were 1 play away from playing for the ACC Title. When all is said and done there are 5 major bowls and 10 BCS representatives–that is the goal to achieve for Maryland not a fancy pitch job to a secondary Bowl.