So most of us are aware of the troubles that befell the Maryland Terrapins football program. I am not talented or smart enough to begin to articulate what losing a 19 year old kid means in the wider world, other than to say that it is just awful. Nothing will bring Jordan McNair back, and nothing lessons the blow of his death to his family. I am sure for the time being they really don’t care about who wins football games.
College age kids are wired a little differently than parents. They don’t necessarily have the broader vision to understand just how horrible burying a child is. Their world is a little more concise. Their friend and teammate died, and the “adults” in the room set about pointing fingers and trying to cover their own asses. That’s what adults do. They have assets to protect and jobs on the line. The kids have each other to lean on and football to focus on. Not because football is more important than life, but because that’s where they channel their energy and try to make sense of this crazy life.
It’s apparent this group of kids did a great job of leaning on each other, because they won a football game. The top 25 Texas Longhorns came to town, and the Maryland kids jumped out to a 24-7 lead because of emotion. The Longhorns battled back and took a 29-24 lead in the third quarter, and lesser teams would have cashed it in. They did the best they could, and it just wasn’t meant to be, they could have reasoned. No one would have judged them. However, this Terrapins team did not give up. They held firm, and then in the final 7 minutes of the game forced three turnovers, and scored 10 points to pull out the improbable 34-29 victory. That victory wasn’t the result of one magical day, but because a team clearly rallied together to become blood brothers, for lack of a better term. When you go beyond football, this was one of the greatest wins in Big Ten history.
Up next for the Maryland Terrapins are the Bowling Green Falcons. Bowling Green played a top 25 Oregon team tough before losing to a superior team. Bowling Green has had a tough run of it lately, but this team looks much improved. Normally, I would circle this game as a potential upset alert. Following up an emotional victory for the superior team is tough. Going on the road is tougher. They are also facing a team that just might be sneaky good. Kind of like when I told you all that Ohio State was in trouble against Iowa last season. I think this Maryland squad is going to take care of business, because they have proven a certain amount of resiliency.
Here is where the big prediction comes in, however. If Maryland loses to Bowling Green, because being a 20 year old kid is roller coaster enough, look for a bigger upset than 23 ranked Texas later in the year.