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Analysis: Maryland could provide wins, fertile recruiting ground

[ 0 ] November 19, 2012 |

Party on, Iowa football fans. The addition of Maryland to the Big Ten Conference means there’s another team the Hawkeyes might beat when the league expands for the 2014 season.

Both teams enter their 2012 finales this weekend with 4-7 records.

Maryland wraps up against North Carolina on Saturday, a day after Iowa finishes against Nebraska at Kinnick Stadium.

The Terps have posted losing records eight times since 1999, while Iowa has had just four sub-.500 seasons in that time. The Terps had two-win seasons in 2009 and 2011. As low as the Iowa program is now — the Hawkeyes will finish 4-8 if they lose on Friday — it hasn’t been that bad since Kirk Ferentz’s first season. Iowa was 1-10 that fall.

Maryland would seem to be fertile recruiting territory, according to Scout recruiting service. As of Monday, 35 Maryland high school seniors were committed to 20 major colleges. In comparison, just seven Iowa high school seniors were committed to five major colleges.

Anything will help Iowa recruiting these days, and now the Iowa coaching staff can pitch Maryland preps with the lure of a free trip home every so often, when the Hawkeyes play at Byrd Stadium in College Park.

How often will Iowa play Maryland?

That’s still unknown.

Once Rutgers follows Maryland in joining the Big Ten — or Big Whatever the New Name is Conference — there will be a reshuffling of the Legends and Leaders divisions.

And that has implications beyond Maryland and Rutgers.

Already, Iowa hasn’t played Illinois since 2008, and won’t play the Illini until 2016. Wisconsin is back on the Hawkeyes’ schedule in 2013 and 2014, but not in 2015. Will Purdue continue to be Iowa’s “rival?”

Stay tuned.

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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