Maryland never, ever, ever, ever, ever officially announces its nonconference football opponents in advance.
Well, unless it’s Navy. And then the process needs to be protracted and public before a single game is agreed to.
So that’s why I was mildly surprised to see something out this afternoon about the Terrapins playing West Virginia in 2012 and 2013.
With a quick search, it turned out West Virginia was the one making the announcement. So the shock dissipated a bit.
Nevertheless, this really isn’t much of a surprise. The teams were already locked in for 2010 and 2011, and it’s a logical game for both schools to play.
* It’s tough finding decent nonconference opponents, especially when schedules get locked in years in advance.
* We’re going to hear a lot of complaints about the economy for a while. Playing a school within a bus ride makes a ton of sense.
* It’s a natural nonconference rivalry for both teams.
Something no one is going to say but probably contains a sliver of truth: With Rich Rodriguez and his four-game winning streak (2004-07) against the Terps off to Ann Arbor, there probably isn’t as much fear on either side that this would remain a Mountaineer mauling indefinitely.
As for why it’s worth making an announcement, well, the schools have taken a two-year break (2008-09) in the series, with Maryland going home-and-home with California and West Virginia picking up two games with Colorado to fill the void.
But for now, it looks like things could be back to normal between the programs, who played every year between 1980 and 2007 (and twice in the 2003 season when they met in the Gator Bowl).