The Washington Times - September 13, 2008, 07:23PM

You’d think a beat writer would come up with the day’s best question, wouldn’t you?

I mean, we’re the ones there every day, trying to make sense of everything going on in a program.

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Instead, far and away, this was the best question(s) asked on a day when Maryland shocked No. 23 California 35-27 – a game that was 28-6 until the final seven minutes – just a week after it lost at Middle Tennessee came from the starting quarterback.

“As a reporter, how do you even keep up with it?” Chris Turner asked. “What do you even write?”

Hell if I know, even if I should by now.

The most predictable thing about Maryland is its unpredictability. It’s why I was highly reluctant to bury the Terps this week. And it’s exactly why I can’t realistically expect them to win by more than 10 points next week (though I will expect them to defeat Eastern Michigan).

With these guys, you just never know.

If Maryland played every week like it did today, it would be foolish to overlook those claims of contending for an ACC title. But it hasn’t for the last four-plus seasons, and they need to prove this isn’t a one-game anomaly before accepting this as the real version of the team.

The Terps at their best are clearly a formidable bunch. The Terps at their worst are completely forgettable.

If they can’t be consistent, they can at least come up with more good days than bad. And at 2-1 and the chance to have a good season still in front of them, that will need to be the Terps’ priority with the start of conference play just a fortnight away.

The good news for Terps fans is Maryland has shown Middle Tennessee was a blip. The bad news is today could be a blip, too.

And if that happens, it’ll mean I’ll have no clue what to write. Again.

Patrick Stevens