Which Maryland Team Will Show Up?

Brett GellmanCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

Just two weeks ago, the Maryland Terrapins visited Charlottesville to play a struggling UVA team that had just gotten blown out by Duke.  Meanwhile, the Terps were coming off a come from behind victory against the then-ranked Clemson Tigers in a game that helped seal the fate of former head coach Tommy Bowden.

Maryland, who had stood at 4-1 and undefeated in the conference, had momentum going their way until that fateful day in Hooville. 

The Virginia team that showed up that night, however, was not the one that was blown out by USC, UConn, and Duke.  No, this was a much different Cavalier squad.  They dominated in all facets of the game and shut out the Terps in a stunning 31-0 victory. 

Of course, it comes as no surprise that Maryland bounced back last weekend by blanking No. 19 Wake Forest 26-0 in dominating fashion. 

Why?  Simple.  Maryland has continued its consistent trend of inconsistency.

So why aren't the Terps ranked after being the only school in the nation this season to have defeated three ranked teams?  Perhaps maddening losses to Middle Tennessee State and the aforementioned Cavaliers help explain the reason.

Looking back, perhaps that Virginia loss wasn't so bad now that the Cavs (4-3, 2-1 ACC) have won three straight, their last over a ranked North Carolina team. But it is how the Terps lost by being shut out, only to shut out their next opponent, that's entirely frustrating. 

As for the loss to MTSU, there's simply no excuse for that.

Anyway, the Terps (5-2, 2-1 ACC) reclaimed the driver's seat for the Atlantic Division title last Saturday by defeating Wake (4-2, 2-1 ACC), but it wouldn't entirely surprise anyone if they were to fall to lowly NC State (2-5, 0-3 ACC) this weekend. 

The solution to this trend of erratic wins and losses would?  Simple: Beat the Wolfpack.  Beat them soundly.

Show the nation (and pollsters) that you can get up and defeat the teams you're supposed to, as well as the ones that pit you as the underdogs.

As for Halloween, the Terps certainly don't need a costume for this year.  They've been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for far too long already.