Maryland Week rolls on!
...I mean, sure, we’ve not been as singularly Maryland-focused as usual, what with a new commissioner and poorly-timed new commissioner speculation and even the need to stop and recognize the holiest of high-holy Big Ten holidays. But we’re still here to talk Terps, damnit, and explain for the rest of the conference just how seriously we should be taking the Terps’ playmakers in 2019.
So we crack on! Today in the B1G 2019 Potluck we’ve got famous alumni, signature calls, and whenever Maryland is the new Team of the Shootout in the Big Ten East...
Question #1: Let’s go to Bentley’s?
It’s a little unfair that Maryland gets such a prominent and vocal booster on ESPN in Scott Van Pelt [the Northwestern graduate says unblinkingly and without any sense of irony].
Maybe I’m just jealous, you see, because Mr. Van Pelt (he of Maryland alumnus fame) has the signature “Let’s go to Bentley’s” call:
A College Park tradition, RJ Bentley’s—with its crab pretzels, crab cakes, lots of other crab things (surely)—is right on Route 1 and, in part thanks to SVP’s boosterism, has gotten its time on everything from distinguished Maryland sports journalism spots to BTN’s Campus Eats feature. But, to outsiders, Bentley’s is no doubt most famous for Van Pelt’s SportsCenter calls.
So we take a little divertissement from “food” per se, writers, to ask you: Is there a more famous sports media personality than Maryland’s Scott Van Pelt?
Bonus: if you could rewrite “Let’s go to Bentley’s!” for your school, what would it be?
Thumpasaurus: We already have it. It’s called LET’S GO TO KAM’S!
Or at least we had it. Apparently Kam’s is being knocked down, and there’s two reasons for this. One is that there are not enough luxury high rise apartments next to the main quad, and the other is that the gloriously frat-tastic shithole that is KAM’S is often part of the college football experience for Illini fans and therefore, like every other part of that experience, it must be dismantled and knocked down.
Candystripes: Bloomington being the drinking town with a basketball problem that it is, you could fill in a LOT of places for “Let’s Go To” and probably be just fine.
So on the sports media thing, what are your present feelings on IU attendee Joe Buck? (He didn’t graduate, I’m not calling him an alum. These are my rules.)
Ray: LET’S GO TO THE GREASE TRUCKS!
We cut to a low shot behind Ray. He stands, in the rain, in an empty parking lot. The outline of a half dozen stately food trucks line the pavement and the ghosts of Fat Cats swirl through the early morning air. He drops his shandy and then falls to his knees. As he looks to the sky, he whispers between sobs “Let’s go...to the grease...trucks.”
LPW: Oh this is easy. I’ll go with Michael Wilbon! As for going to NU bars, I’ll defer this to MNW.
Beez: Uhhh is Bob Costas still alive? Cuz he’s gotta be more worldwide famous still, right? Otherwise, Van Pelt is definitely near the top of the list. I don’t understand what the Bonus question is asking.
MNW: See, the problem with the generic Medill folk in sports media—your Michael Wilbons, Mike Greenbergs, JA Adandes, Rachel Nichols, [/gulp] Darren Rovells—is that they’ve given us not the memorable calls, but rather varying qualities of journalism and hot-taekry.
That’s not fair to Nichols and Adande. I apologize.
The closest Northwestern gets to someone with a catchphrase is Brent Musberger’s “You are looking LIVE!”, and that’s not school-specific.
Part of the reason for that, no doubt, is the fact that there’s nowhere on campus to go. I mean, it’s not as if anyone will be saying “See you at the Keg!” [RIP] or “Let’s go to Nevin’s!” [RIP and fuck Evanston], but...yeah. Not exactly the school with a sports culture that lends itself to anything other than the same hackneyed “AND YOU CAN HEAR ‘EM IN THE LIBRARY!” jokes.
Question #2: Scottie, Joker, Locks, and...the New #CHAOSTEAM?
New Maryland Terrapins OC Scottie Montgomery has tons to work with. Case in point:
- QB: Lose Kasim Hill to transfer, gain Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson, who looks poised to beat out Tyrrell Pigrome. [Max Bortenschlager, somehow, is still here.]
- RB: Return speedster Anthony McFarland, whose 1000-yard season included an exclamation point of 298 yards against Ohio State.
- TE: Add first-team All-MAC Tyler Mabry from the Buffalo Bulls to go with Chigoziem Okonkwo, who nabbed two TDs in the spring game and is gunning (!!!) for a breakout season.
On the other side of things, though, the WR corps is untested, with Jeshaun Jones and Dontay Demus leading the way, and the offensive line lost three starters to the NFL Draft and graduation. So, if you’re the kind of uptight nerd who gets worried about things like “good line play”, I guess, there might be issues for Maryland.
But can Scottie Montgomery--with WRs coach Joker Phillips--make something of this crew? Some observers think he got a rough draw at East Carolina, but a collapse from 80th and 77th in Offensive S&P+ in 2016-17 to 119th in 2018, primarily under the specter of injuries, both to the quarterback and other playmakers.
Thankfully that’s never an issue at Maryland!
So tell us, writers: Is the infusion of new blood what it’ll take to vault Maryland into the top-half of offenses in the conference? Are we underplaying the immediate contribution Josh Jackson should make to the Terps’ offense? This is an offense that dropped 51 on Ohio State...should we be thinking of Maryland as the new #CHAOSTEAM offense?
Candystripes: Sure. Anything to get the #ChaosTeam albatross off our neck.
Jesse: It seems to me that the pieces are there, but I struggle to believe that there is some magic elixir without the QB position being set in stone. I like Josh Jackson but he’s not Tua, and the whole “we’ll run what Alabama has been running,” does not seem to hold up as well as when you have transcendent WRs who can bail out an offense trying to pound the hell out of the other team until your defense gets on the field and pounds the hell out of the other team.
That said, what does the top half of the Big Ten really mean going into 2019? They were already decent in yards per play last year, but they literally just ran the fewest plays in the conference last year. Actually, why wasn’t this team better last year? Huh. Anyways, the point is that I guess we could see them be #CHAOSTEAM but moreso from like the “are we sure they’re good OMG THEY JUST SCORED 40 ON NEBRASKA WHAT HAPPENED” sorta way.
Ray: Not only will the offense not produce consistently, it will completely implode at numerous times during the year. We’re talking 6-Interception afternoons with less than 100 yards rushing.
So, basically the Rutgers 2018 offense.
Stew: Come on, #ChaosTeam is now obviously UNL. I mean, with all of that turnover, it’s still just McFarland and….? Also, good luck expecting a consistent, competent offense with this coaching staff. Top half offensive team in this league, though, isn’t the highest of hurdles. I think they can be off the bottom ⅓, but I don’t think they quite make the top half. Somewhere in that 8-10 range.
LPW: If the offensive line can block, perhaps this team can be dangerous.
Beez: Maryland could easily finish 7th in the conference on offense. A great game-breaking RB returns and there’ll be a new QB, one good enough to actually play at a football school! Or at least one good enough to transfer away from a football school. Maryland could absolutely be a chaosteam on offense. They won’t be, but they could be!
(Beez note: Google Docs has a red squiggly under “could,” which (a) WTF? “could” is not a word I need to add to the dictionary, and (b) No, I don’t mean “would” because that’d mean I was predicting something and I don’t do that where it could turn out wrong and people could later go back and see how wrong I was)
MNW: You’re all wrong. This is SO the new #CHAOSTEAM. They already have a disappointingly-close loss to Ohio State to prove it! That is absolutely the point of being dubbed #CHAOSTEAM—you don’t have the defense, offensive consistency, or coaching to actually win games you should, but goddamn, you’re gonna make some fireworks in the process of going 5-7.
Anyways, when Maryland gets a season with just a couple of injuries, they’re so going 7-5. If this is the year that happens, this offense will be Top 4-5 in the conference.
Is Maryland the new #CHAOSTEAM?
This poll is closed
Hell yeah! 52-51 for everyone!
No, it’s still Indiana.
No, now it’s UNL.
No, it’s [TELL US IN THE COMMENTS].
Where does the Maryland offense finish in the Big Ten?
This poll is closed
This is a Top 3 crew—Jackson, McFarland...book those tickets to Jacksonville!
Solidly above average.
7th, 8th...firmly middling.
Below-average—it’s a learning curve for Montgomery and Locksley in the Big Ten East.