Terps football team getting no respect from the rest of the ACC

July 28, 2011|By Jakob Engelke

The Maryland football team hasn’t been getting much love this offseason. In case you missed it, the Terps were picked to finish fifth in the ACC's Atlantic Division -- just one spot ahead of lowly Wake Forest -- and safety-turned-linebacker Kenny Tate was their lone representative on the preseason all-conference team.

The assembled media in Pinehurst, N.C. for last weekend’s ACC Football Kickoff event must’ve been a tough crowd.

Sure, the Terps aren’t the cream of the crop in the ACC -- that honor surely goes to traditional powers Virginia Tech and Florida State --- but players and coach Randy Edsall have a right to feel disrespected.

This isn’t the same team that finished 2-10 two years ago. Heck, this isn’t the team that finished 9-4 last season. The Terps return five starters on offense, including ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O’Brien at quarterback, and seven on defense. Sure, the Terps are in the midst of a coaching change and they lost some key players from last year’s squad, but fifth place in the Atlantic Division seems a bit low based on their 2010 campaign.

After learning of their fifth-place selection, players voiced their readiness to prove critics wrong.

“We’re not making any excuses,” said O’Brien, who finished with 2,438 passing yards and 22 touchdowns last year. “The goal is ACC title or bust. Anything short of that is a failure this season for us under any circumstances.”

“I never care where the Media votes us because not a single person that voted us to finish 5th in our division has ever played college ball,” defensive lineman A.J. Francis tweeted.

The Terps won’t have to wait long to show whether or not the media’s prediction was valid. With games against Miami and West Virginia to start the season, we’ll have a good idea of how they stack up to the rest of the conference by mid-September.

So what do you think: Will the Terps finish better than fifth in the Atlantic Division? Has the media disrespected them? Do you agree with O’Brien and Francis’ claims?

Jakob Engelke, a University of Maryland student, is an intern at The Baltimore Sun. Our fine interns will contribute guest posts to Baltimore Sports Blitz this summer. Contact Engelke at xcxjengelke@baltsun.com and follow him at twitter.com/Jakob_Engelke. 

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