It's the start of the college football season, which means way-too-early bowl projections. ESPN has released its version and one of its two analysts thinks the Terrapins will be bowl eligible.
Brett McMurphy sees Maryland reaching the bowl-eligible mark of six wins and making it to the Armed Forces Bowl, held on Dec. 29 in Fort Worth, Texas. He projects that they would play New Mexico.
Now, of course, this is a far-out projection that is mostly used to set the initial boundaries for what analysts think a team will do in a given season.
The one interesting storyline that would emerge if Maryland did indeed play New Mexico, though? That is the former employer of Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who was the program's head coach from 2009-11.
ESPN's other analyst taking part in the projection, Mark Schlabach, did not have the Terrapins reaching a bowl.
So what would it take for Maryland to get to at least six wins? It's not the easiest road.
The first three games of the season (at home vs. Richmond, then Bowling Green, then South Florida) are crucial. Maryland needs to come out of that stretch 3-0 to put itself in the best position moving forward.
The Terrapins will likely be favored or close to it in the final two weeks of the season at home against Indiana and on the road against Rutgers. Say they take care of business and get to five wins.
West Virginia on the road in Week 4 will be difficult. It's a hostile environment, a rivalry game, and the Mountaineers are picked in the middle of the Big 12. Iowa on the road on Oct. 31 won't be easy, either.
So I think that puts a spotlight on two games -- both at "home" -- at Byrd Stadium against Michigan and at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore against Penn State.
Both of those programs are headed in the right direction under coaches just getting their footing right with their programs, but they are not at full strength in terms of potential yet under Jim Harbaugh and James Franklin, respectively. And, don't forget, both were road wins for Maryland last season.
There is an opportunity there.
If they take care of business in the first three weeks and win at the end of the conference schedule, plus pull out a few winnable home games in the middle we could be looking at a third straight bowl berth for Maryland in 2015.