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Middle Tennessee and BCS visitors

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Life can be hard for a college football team at the major-college level for only a decade.

Middle Tennessee would no doubt agree.

The Blue Raiders, who meet Maryland in Murfreesboro on Saturday, have only had three other BCS conference schools pay a visit since moving up in 1999.

They are:

* Temple, which in 2003 dealt Middle Tennessee a 44-36 loss. The Owls were still in the Big East at that point.

* Louisville, which won 44-17 at LP Field in nearby Nashville in 2006.

* Virginia, which pulled off one of its Houdini acts last season when it escaped with a 23-21 victory.

Of course, the Blue Raiders have found ways to pay the bills. In the last 10 seasons (1999-2008), they’re 3-26 against the power conferences, with all three victories coming at Vanderbilt (2001, 2002 and 2005)

Meanwhile, Maryland fans will remember the teams’ two previous meetings:

* In 2000, a 45-27 Maryland victory that was just 24-21 in the middle of the third quarter. You’re a long-time Maryland fan if you can remember that Calvin McCall threw for 357 yards that night. I’d certainly forgotten than tidbit. I was also amused to see www.lamontjordan2000.com on the cover of the stats book from that night. Jordan did run for three touchdowns that night.

* In 2006, Maryland collected a 24-10 victory as Lance Ball ran for two touchdowns and the Terps (as they often did that season) got outgained.

That’s enough history for today. There will be plenty to discuss tomorrow from College Park, in what looks like it could be a very busy all-around day.

Patrick Stevens

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