Friday, September 19, 2008

Most Impressive Terps Win This Season?

Maryland Athletics puts up poll every now and then asking a question of their fans, like most do. I personally enjoy questions like who has the best chance to win a national title, because most casual sports fans don't know anything about collegiate sports other than football and basketball, so they'll get the most votes even if the college has no shot at getting them.

But, the poll question that Maryland has put up: What is the most impressive Terps win in the 2008 Fall season so far? Your choices:
--Football's 35-27 win over #23 California
--Men's Soccer's 2-1 OT win at #14 UCLA
--Men's Soccer's 1-0 win over #9 Boston College
--Field Hockey's 8-1 win over #8 Old Dominion
--Field Hockey's 5-1 win at #9 Michigan

Now, in some ways, this is an unfair question. Obviously most people care about football and so that will win the poll. Also keep in mind Maryland men's soccer and field hockey are currently in the top-4 of their respective sport, while Maryland football is unranked. But, let's break this down.

First off, I'm removing two choices from the list, the men's soccer win over UCLA and the field hockey win over Old Dominion. UCLA, though historically very good at men's soccer, has fallen out of the rankings since Maryland's win, only receiving one vote in the last coaches poll. Currently they are 1-3-1, and Maryland may have gotten lucky with a goal in the last minute of regulation. And for field hockey, I'm removing the Old Dominion game because half of the Terps goals were scored in the final 11 minutes, and I feel an away win at Michigan is a better win than a home victory against Old Dominion.

Now, that said, I'm now removing field hockey's Michigan victory off the list. As great a victory this was, if I'm comparing it to the men's soccer victory over Boston College, I have to give the edge to the BC win. Maryland was expected to win handily over Michigan; not the case with BC. BC has had Maryland's number in the regular season the past two years, with stunning upsets of two goals each time. The Terps may have been favored, but field hockey was supposed to win easily over Michigan. Despite that soccer was a home game, I edge this one to men's soccer. Each time the Terps have beaten BC in the last two years, the lone goal was scored by Graham Zusi (pictured).

But when it comes down to it, the football victory is the right answer. Maryland football was expected to lose, and not only did they win, they were up 28-6 with seven minutes left in the 4th quarter. Men's soccer is a top-5 team, football isn't ranked and lost to Middle Tennessee State. The whole of the victory was extremely important to the season.

So even though the poll may be skewed because it is football, it is correct. Maryland football's win over California is the right answer as the most impressive in the 2008 Fall Season.

(Photo credit: Maryland athletics)

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