The 2019 college football season is almost here, which means that projections are out for win totals, rankings and standings.
We’ve scoured the deepest depths of the internet to find out where the Terps are projected to finish this season.
Westgate Las Vegas Superbook: O/U 3.5
The saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” has never been more applicable for this projection. Westbook also said that Rutgers would win three games this season, so they are saying Maryland is essentially slightly better than a team that went 1-11 and threw more interceptions than completed passes against Maryland. However, with that being said, they do have some valid reasoning. Looking at Maryland’s schedule, they face five teams ranked in the preseason Coaches Poll and eight teams that received votes in the poll. The four that didn’t: Howard, Rutgers, Purdue and Indiana. There is a reason to think that Maryland will win more than 3.5 games.
For those who don’t know, S&P+ is an advanced analytics system for college football, so if you want to trust anything, this might be the one to trust. Creator Bill Connelly has the Terps at around five wins this season, which is a much more realistic number. Maryland does have a few games which most would pencil down as automatic losses, but remember, they were just one errant pass away from upsetting Ohio State, so anything is possible. However, somewhere around 5 wins, on par with what the Terps did last year, is a decent projection.
ESPN FPI: 4.1
This is also a fair assessment for the Terps. Basically, all of Maryland’s possible wins exist at the beginning of the season. Setting aside the Friday night Penn State game, seven of Maryland’s first eight games can be deemed winnable, though Syracuse is a tough matchup. Purdue has been good in recent years, including a blowout win against Ohio State last year, but still only went 6-7. Temple did beat the Terps 35-14 in College Park last year, but lost their head coach to Georgia Tech, so who knows.
College Football News: 6
Again, the Terps have a winnable front-half of their schedule and that is what CFN is pointing to, saying that if Maryland wants to be bowl-eligible, they need to go 2-1 or 3-0 in their non-conference schedule. The Terps don’t benefit from being home, with Rutgers, Minnesota and Purdue all being road games, but Maryland needs to pull out wins there, plus a home win against Indiana if they want to clinch bowl eligibility before facing the rough ending to their schedule, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Michigan State in four straight games.
Maryland has seemed to hover around the four-to-five win mark for most of these projections, so this is on par with the seasons. However, the season could go one of two ways. The first being that the Terps can’t replace the void left by Jeshaun Jones and their season falls apart, or they can patch up holes on offense and defense enough to have a better-than-average team. Either way, this is a tough line to bet on.
Consistency is the name of the game and yes, the projections have been consistent. The consensus is that Maryland will finish somewhere around four or five wins this season. It’s on-par with how the 2018 season ended up, though Mike Locksley has been trying to jumpstart and re-invigorate the program. He’s familiar with the Maryland brand and he has done a lot already to change up the culture and create a winning environment. Not everything can change in a year, but the foundation for a successful future can start now.