The Washington Times - September 12, 2007, 10:17AM

\ The two schools have met every year since 1980. That covers Maryland’s ACC championship teams of the mid-1980s, West Virginia’s Major Harris-led team that played for the national title in 1988, the Mountaineers’ less daunting 1993 team that still ran the table in the regular season, the Ralph Friedgen renaissance years earlier this decade in College Park and West Virginia’s recent run of top-10 caliber teams.\

\ But the series goes on hiatus for two years after this season. Maryland will play a home-and-home with California. West Virginia picks up a pair of home-and-homes with Auburn and Colorado.\

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\ As for the Maryland series, it is scheduled to be back in 2010 and 2011. But after that, the contract is up.\

\ “It’s a game I would like to keep playing,” Friedgen said. “After the ‘11 season, I think Dr. [Debbie] Yow and their AD have to sit down and talk. I think it’s good for both programs. I think it’s a border state and it’s going to be a good rivalry.”\

\ Since these deals get hammered out years in advance, that conversation will probably have to come sooner than four years down the pike.\

\ West Virginia is the closest thing Maryland has had to a nearby rival to spice up the nonconference schedule. The Terps have played Navy once since 1965. They haven’t met Penn State since 1993, but in case anyone forgets, the Nittany Lions are 35-1-1 all-time against Maryland. That’s a pretty lopsided rivalry. Temple? Not so much. Pittsburgh? Amazingly, the teams have met only five times.\

\ Does Maryland’s lack of true rivals matter, and would losing West Virginia from the schedule be a critical error? That’s probably something fans could answer much better than I ever could.\

\ — Patrick Stevens