The Washington Times - October 9, 2007, 08:41AM

\ Everyone else likes to count them up at the start and analyze where the wins and losses are going to come from well before the games are played.\

\ So it was in the preseason, when I went through every ACC team’s schedule and came up with a game-by-game result for each school. Since the season’s midpoint has arrived for most teams (including Maryland), it seemed like a good idea to look back on the full list and see not only how accurate the early picks were, but also how likely it is the second half selections will hold up.\

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\ Anyway, here is how I envisioned the Terps getting to 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC (a pick that was published and can be found here).\

\

\ Villanova-W\ at Florida International-W\ West Virginia-L\ at Wake Forest-L\ at Rutgers-L\ Georgia Tech-W\ Virginia-W\ Clemson-L\ at North Carolina-W\ Boston College-W\ at Florida State-L\ at N.C. State-W\
\ Well, it hasn’t been too far off so far, the Rutgers game notwithstanding. And if these picks held up, Maryland would be looking at eight victories in the regular season for the second straight year.\

\ But whether can they hold up is a serious uncertainty. Will the rushing game maintain its solid pace without right guard Andrew Crummey? Who the heck will be playing quarterback the rest of the way, Chris Turner, Jordan Steffy or an international man of mystery? Will other thinning positions (linebacker, anyone) create problems? And will opponents see the back-to-back 300-yard passing games posted on the Terps and decide it might be best to attack Maryland through the air?\

\ The second half won’t be quite so easy to predict. That Boston College pick looks awfully dicey right now. The trip to North Carolina is going to be dangerous since it’s clear Butch Davis has identified his handful of good players and has made getting them involved priorities one, two and three. And even though the Terps should knock off Virginia on Oct. 20, the Cavaliers are 5-1. On the flip side, it’s not hard to envision Maryland taking out Clemson at the end of the month.\

\ So how do the Terps finish? The best guess is with seven-to-eight wins (maybe with the original Clemson and Boston College predictions flip-flopped). Given how tenuous things looked after the loss at Wake Forest just two and a half weeks ago, that wouldn’t be bad at all.\

\ – Patrick Stevens