Location: College Park, Md.
Bowl appearances: 24
NFL first-round picks: 8
Losing seasons: 34
10-win seasons: 7
Source: ESPN Stats & Info (Note: College numbers date back to 1936, the first year of the AP poll. NFL numbers date back to 1970.)
The skinny: Maryland enters its first season under coach Randy Edsall after Ralph Friedgen, the ACC’s 2010 Coach of the Year, was fired. Friedgen’s career at Maryland began with three straight seasons of at least 10 wins, but the school has settled into mediocrity since 2004. Edsall was hired to make the program a consistent contender in the Atlantic Division and top 25 presence. Maryland’s location is one of the things he’ll have to both sell to recruits and overcome.
The good: The 1,580-acre campus is located between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., providing ample choices for internships, careers and entertainment. The Terps are also located in and near some of the nation’s premier recruiting territories in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia. The athletic department has also taken major steps to upgrade the facilities, and in recent years have renovated the Gossett Football Team House and expanded Tyser Tower to include luxury suites. Maryland has ACC championship history, including the 2001 title in Friedgen’s first season.
The bad: Not only must the Terps recruit against neighboring Penn State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, they must also compete against pro sports teams in both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., for fan support. Because the nation’s capital is so transient, Maryland has a fickle fan base that has shown more apathy than loyalty in recent years, which is a major reason the Terps were underappreciated in the bowl selection process last year, despite a nine-win season.