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What college football program should Maryland fans root for in 2020?

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With the Big Ten canceling its Fall 2020 sports season, Maryland football fans will not have anything to look forward to on Saturday at noon. Yet, while the Terps aren't in action, there's a chance that some other programs will still compete.

As of now, the SEC, Big 12 and ACC are the Power 5 conferences that are still working to have a season in the coming months. This realistically means that if Maryland fans ever wanted to consider testing out another team, this fall is the time to do.

In a recent story from ESPN, Virginia Tech was chosen as a suitor for Terps fans. Though the con was having to cheer on a former rival, the pro was that supporters once again get the opportunity to root against the likes of Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State.

While the Hokies are worth considering, there are other teams throughout the landscape that could work for Maryland fans. Here's a look at the pros and cons of a few teams.

SEC

Alabama

Pros: Maryland football hasn't had much success as of late, so why not experience what it's like to see your team dominate and compete with the best of the best? A break from inconsistent play and letdowns could be just what Terps fans need. Additionally, Maryland owes a thank you to Alabama for handing them back head coach Mike Locksley and also transfer quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa.

 

In what is becoming a transition to the Maryland Crimson Tide or Alabama Terps, rooting for one of the top teams in the nation may actually feel normal.

Cons: You are going to have to deal with the label of "bandwagon fan". It may also be painful to experience a successful season and then fall down the rabbit hole of wondering when that may actually happen in College Park.

Big 12

Texas

Pros: It's always nice to root for your little brother. After beating Texas in two straight season openers, Maryland fans essentially hold all-time bragging rights over the Longhorns, at least until they meet again. If Texas has a strong season, Terp supporters can always say "hey, we beat them..twice." Plus, maybe this is the year that Texas is really "back."

Cons: The back-and-forth between being a program that is finally ready to compete with the top teams in the conference and then losing a game that should have been won may hit a little too close to home for those who have watched Maryland football over the years.

ACC

NC State

Pros: A chance to share in the hatred of Duke and North Carolina once again, and the red apparel can stay.

Cons: A chance to share in the pain of losing to Duke and North Carolina. Being buddy-buddy with NC State fans may just be too tough for some Terps supporters, also.

North Carolina

Pros: Okay, don't freak out. Yes, North Carolina is a past rival, but the football program is also moving in the direction Maryland hopes to. They brought back a big-time head coach who once had Carolina rolling (Mack Brown) to help change the culture and bring in recruits.

Now, the team is garnering real hype and is expected to compete for an ACC Coastal title. Rooting for the Tar Heels could be like seeing into the future for the Terps. And hey, at least it's not Duke.

Cons: It will be hard to see the Carolina Blue and not feel an irrational amount of anger run through your blood. 

Syracuse

Pros: It's an opportunity to root for a school that is known for basketball, but is working to build up its football program, much like Maryland. Additionally, your body doesn't have to adjust from the noon kickoffs, as there should still be plenty. Also don't you owe some support to Syracuse? The blowout win against the Orange in 2019 was one of last year's few fun moments for Maryland football before the season went off the rails. 

Cons: A few early losses and you may find yourself saying "just wait until you see us on the court" all over again.