As spring practice approaches, we’re taking a snapshot of the state of each Big Ten program. We’re looking at recent performance, won-loss trends, coaching, current personnel and future personnel.
Up next: Maryland
2014 record: 7-6 (4-4 Big Ten)
Three-year record: 18-20
Coaching situation: Maryland fans may not have been exactly sold on Randy Edsall when he went 6-18 in his first two seasons after replacing the popular Ralph Friedgen. But Edsall, who dealt with a rash of injuries early in his tenure, has righted the ship and has taken the Terrapins to back-to-back bowl games. He still has much work to do but appears to have the program headed in the right direction.
Roster situation: Maryland loses quite a bit of frontline talent off its 2014 squad, including receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, defensive end Andre Monroe and most of its front seven on defense and three starting offensive linemen. In addition, quarterback C.J. Brown, who had seemingly been in College Park forever, is gone now, with Caleb Rowe expected to take over the reins of the offense. It will be time for young players whom Edsall has recruited to start taking over in 2015, and the Terps still have a couple of All-Big Ten selections in cornerback Will Likely and kicker Brad Craddock.
Recruiting situation: The Terrapins swam in some deep waters this past recruiting season, knocking heads with SEC and Big Ten powers for prospects and winning some of those battles for guys like defensive lineman Adam McLean and offensive lineman Quarvez Boulware. Edsall is trying to convince players from the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) area to stay home with the program's Maryland Pride motto, and it's a smart idea given the amount of talent in the region. It's also a very competitive area to recruit, made more so by the Big Ten's eastern expansion. At least the Terps have a homefield advantage.
Trajectory: Up -- slightly. Maryland had an odd 2014 where it could easily have won eight games if not for a complete collapse at home in the season finale against Rutgers. The Terps had nice wins on the road against Penn State and Michigan and at home versus Iowa but were wildly unpredictable from week to week and even half to half. The program has yet to really get over the hump under Edsall, and the Big Ten East Division could be one of the toughest divisions in college football if Michigan and Penn State make expected improvements to push Ohio State and Michigan State. On the other hand, the Terps have shown that they're no pushover in their new league. The financial backing from Under Armour and planned renovations of the team's football facilities bode well for the future. Maryland needs to prove it can rise above mediocrity and that it has the fan support to do so. But it does have some natural advantages going for it if Edsall can capitalize.