Fun as it may be to imagine, Maryland won't be forced to play against itself this year in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Terrapins haven't abandoned ship yet, for better and for worse.
There probably hasn't been a year when ACC advocates are more keen on winning the Challenge than this one, however.
Just last week the Big 10, led by North Carolina alum Jim Delany (1968-70), bought the affections of an original ACC member in adding Maryland starting in 2014-15. That may add a touch of motivation for the league left behind.
What's more, the ACC was routed 8-4 in 2011-12, its most decisive defeat in the first 13 years of the series. Last season also was the third straight the ACC came out on the short end of the competition.
That turnaround came after the ACC won the first 10 matchups in the Challenge.
Note that seven of the dozen current ACC members have winning records in the Challenge - BC, Clemson, Duke, Maryland, UNC, UVa, and Wake. By contrast, Ohio State is the sole Big 10 team with more wins (6) than losses (5) in the series.
The Buckeyes climbed over .500 by routing Duke last year at Columbus, 85-63. OSU visits Cameron Indoor Stadium in the final game of this season's event.
Last November's ACC winners were Virginia (over Michigan), Clemson (against Iowa), Wake Forest (against Nebraska, this year's opponent), and UNC (versus Wisconsin).
Virginia and Wake Forest have the ACC's longest ongoing Challenge winning streaks at two games apiece.
Ohio State, which faces Duke, and Northwestern, which hosts Maryland, enjoy the longest current winning streaks in the series. Each has won four straight. Illinois (hosting Georgia Tech) and Purdue (at Clemson) have each won three in a row.
Minnesota and FSU are meeting for the fourth time, more than any other set of opponents paired in this year's event.
NOT SO FRIENDLY RIVALRY
|Games Scheduled On November 27||ACC Team Record, Seasons Won|
|Iowa (2-8) at Virginia Tech (2-5)||2-0, VT (2007, 2010)|
|Minnesota (5-8) at Florida State (6-7)||2-1, FSU (2005, 2008)|
|N.C. State (5-7) at Michigan (4-7)||1-1 (2007)|
|Maryland (9-4) at Northwestern (6-7)||0-0|
|Nebraska (0-1) at Wake Forest (10-2)||1-0, WF (2012)|
|North Carolina (7-6) at Indiana (4-7)||1-1 (2005)|
|Games Scheduled On November 28||ACC Team Record, Seasons Won|
|Virginia (7-5) at Wisconsin (6-7)||0-0|
|Purdue (5-6) at Clemson (9-4)||1-1 (2008)|
|Michigan State (6-6) at Miami (1-4)||0-0|
|Georgia Tech (4-8) at Illinois (6-7)||0-0|
|Boston College (5-1) at Penn State (5-7)||0-1|
|Ohio State (6-5) at Duke (11-2)||1-1 (2003)|