Where Maryland football landed in ESPN’s CPI, QB tiers

Maryland football will kick off its 2024 season in three months as they look to secure bowl eligibility for the fourth time in as many seasons, but on Monday, Maryland found themselves in familiar territory in ESPN’s first edition of its College Football Power index for the upcoming season.

Maryland checked in 46th nationally, sandwiched between Rutgers and Iowa State, while the Terps were the 12th-highest Big Ten team behind Oregon (2), Ohio State (4), Penn State (6), Michigan (12), USC (18), Washington (31), Iowa (37), Wisconsin (39), UCLA (40), Nebraska (41) and Rutgers (45).

ESPN’s model gave Maryland a 71.7% chance to secure bowl eligibility for the fourth consecutive season and a 4.8% chance to make the updated 12-team College Football Playoffs. One day after Maryland was one of a handful of teams to face 2000-to-1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs, ESPN also gave a 0.4% chance for Maryland to win the Big Ten and 0.2% chance to make the national championship.

Virginia, Maryland’s top-ranked non-conference opponent, checked in at 72nd while UConn debuted at 110th heading into the first season under Jim Mora as head coach.

While seven wins have emerged as the consensus preseason win total for Maryland, the Terps found themselves slightly higher in last month’s SP+ rankings from ESPN after checking in at 44th overall and tenth in the Big Ten. On3 also ranked Maryland 13th in their post-spring Big Ten power rankings.

On Tuesday, ESPN tiered the quarterback room for all 134 FBS schools as Maryland found itself among five schools in the ‘shoes to fill’ tier alongside Kentucky, LSU, Michigan and North Carolina.

In the past 20 years, Maryland had QB seasons with 100 pass attempts. Just four resulted in a Total QBR better than 62 — all four belong to Taulia Tagovailoa. In other words, belief in what the Terps’ 2024 QB can do comes down to whether you believe Tagovailoa set a new standard or was an island in a sea of below-average quarterback play.

With Maryland projected to secure bowl eligibility yet again, Maryland was projected to land in the Pinstripe Bowl vs. Virginia Tech by College Football News for the second time in four seasons under Locksley.

Maryland is set to open the 2024 season against UConn with kickoff set for noon on FS1, one of a handful of kickoff times and TV designations set within the first month of the season.

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