The Washington Times - December 4, 2008, 10:13AM

I had an e-mail exchange about bowl scenarios yesterday with loyal reader Fearthenoodle, who is clearly much for an optimist than I am.

That, of course, is a bar so low you can step over it. But that’s also a discussion for another day.

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Anyway, he hypothesized a scenario whereby Maryland could still land in Charlotte in Boston College won the conference title game and the following dominos then fell (for scenarios purposes, I’m ignoring Georgia Tech and Clemson, which have accepted their bowl invitations already):

Orlando: Virginia Tech
Nashville: North Carolina
Charlotte: Maryland
San Francisco: Miami
Boise: Florida State/Wake Forest
Washington: Florida State/Wake Forest

Well, I should amend this a bit. Fearthenoodle didn’t go beyond Charlotte, which is fine. After the Terps are gone, most Maryland fans generally don’t care, and that’s understandable.

It is the possibility of this exact scenario that does not make Boise a sure thing for Maryland. For it to happen, the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando would have to take Virginia Tech over Papa Bowden’s boys.

The Music City Bowl would then have a choice between bowl-starved North Carolina and bringing Florida State back for a second straight year. If the Tar Heels were picked, Charlotte could then choose to pair Maryland and West Virginia in a rematch.

It could also take Florida State and send Maryland down the pecking order anyway.

There’s also a chance Orlando selects Florida State and everything unfolds the way conventional wisdom (which often isn’t that wise) suggests it might.

If Virginia Tech wins, Boston College falls to Music City, Orlando gobbles up Florida State, Charlotte happily snags North Carolina and Maryland can start anticipating some snowmobiling.

And so, as Homer Simpson once famously said, now we play the waiting game. And though I’ll probably get bored at some point between now and Sunday, I will not resort to playing Hungry Hungry Hippos to sate my ennui.

Patrick Stevens