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Sizing up Maryland's nonconference schedule

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Because Maryland fans have been scouring RPIs and strength of schedules for six Marches running, it’s fair to look at some of the components of that data now that the Terrapins’ schedule is out.

Obviously, a strong conference schedule somewhat alleviates the nonconference issue. But it doesn’t entirely make it disappear.

So, what are the Terps up to in the nonconference? Take a peek (#-potential opponent; all data courtesy of collegerpi.com):

Opponent08-09 Record
08-09 RPI
vs. Villanova
30-813
#vs. Gonzaga
28-626
#vs. Wisconsin
20-1345
#vs. Arizona
21-1462
#vs. Cincinnati
18-1484
Fairfield17-1594
#vs. Vanderbilt
19-1295
Eastern Kentucky
18-13173
New Hampshire
14-16201
at Indiana
6-25216
#vs. Colorado
9-22235
William & Mary
10-20245
Longwood17-14294
Florida Atlantic
6-26313
at UNC Greensboro
5-25316
Charleston Southern
9-20324
Winston-Salem St.
8-22327
at Chaminade
15-12NA

Basically, Maryland will play four top-100 teams from last season in its 14 nonconference games – barring a surprising meeting with Colorado.

The Terps will play just as many teams from the bottom 30 – basically, the bottom 10 percent – of Division I, plus a Division II team.

The RPI game is won not playing either of those groups so much as it is by playing teams between 100 and 200. And based on last year’s numbers, Maryland won’t be doing that much at all.

In fairness, Indiana will be better this year, and New Hampshire is just outside that range. But there are some bad teams at the bottom of that list, with only marginal hope of improving.

Clearly, the conference schedule will make or break Maryland. But it would be rather surprising if the Terps are any worse than 11-3 when ACC play begins – and they’d be well-served to be better than that.

Patrick Stevens

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