After suffering a seven-point loss earlier this week to the Illinois Fighting Illini, the Maryland Terrapins have only dropped three spots thanks to their road victory in Purdue on Saturday afternoon. That victory may have saved the Terps from dropping really far down the rankings.
However, the Terps will head into their 18th game of the season with a 15-2 record and a ranking of 14 in the latest AP polls. That’s not bad for a team that hasn’t even been ranked since 2009, and one that has not been ranked in the top 20 since they last won the National Championship in 2002.
Yes, they have come a long way, and their impressive results this season will lead to them being a more attractive destination for future recruits. The issue however, is this: they have only defeated one ranked team this season while falling to another. Do they have the ability to constantly beat one of the 25 best teams in the nation or not?
More from Maryland Terrapins
- Maryland Terrapins: The battle to face Kentucky starts tonight
- Maryland Terrapins: Could Valparaiso Pull the Upset?
- Maryland Terrapins get snubbed, receive No. 4 seed in the tournament
- Maryland Terrapins finish the season ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll
- Maryland Terps’ Success Resembles 1999-2000 Season
Though they have only beat one team that has been ranked in the AP poll’s top 25, they have defeated a couple of other teams on the road that would contend as impressive victories. They beat both Michigan State and Oklahoma State on the road, while also defeating their fellow Big Ten rivals, the Purdue Boilermakers.
They have also beaten all the weak teams that they played against in the beginning of the season, and though they are easy teams to defeat, they make your record look better and that can go a long way for you. But in order for it to contribute to your ranking, you have top beat some tough teams as well.
Maryland will have plenty of chances to do just that, as their conference schedule has just gotten underway. Although they only have one team on their remaining schedule that is currently ranked (No. 7 Wisconsin), they will still be facing some tough teams.
They have two games against Indiana, one against Michigan, one more against Michigan State at home, and some other tough opponents. It is unfortunate that the Terps won’t have many opportunities to prove that they can defeat ranked opponents this season being that there aren’t many of those in the Big Ten conference. But at the same time, that could go to their advantage.
The Terps currently rank number 14th in the nation, and only one other team in the conference is even ranked at all. At the pace they are going, Maryland could easily snatch a first-round bye in the Big Ten conference tournament. The bottom is line is, we will just have to wait and see.