This is it for Maryland.
One last trip into the heart of ACC country, one last ACC football game, one last go round with N.C. State.
Its a fitting ACC finale for the Terrapins, original conference members who are leaving after 60 years for the Big Ten in June. Fitting that the end is against the Wolfpack, their spiritual and color-coordinated conference kin.
If nothing else, the ACCs red schools were united in their opposition of the ACCs blue schools.
The two schools will always be linked by the Greatest College Basketball Game ever played (please stop embarrassing yourselves, Duke-Kentucky fans), but the football series has been very good, too. You can argue since 2000, there hasnt been a more compelling series in the ACC.
Since the ACC was formed in 1953, N.C. State holds a 29-28-1 advantage in the series, only Duke-Virginia (28-28) has been closer.
Fitting because like so many other times, the Wolfpack and Terps cant even have their own moment. Saturdays game in Raleigh will be overshadowed by the one at the same time at another end of the Triangle between Duke and North Carolina.
While the Blue Devils and Tar Heels play for the Coastal Division, N.C. State will be playing to avoid its first eight-game losing streak since the 1959 season. The Wolfpack is also hoping avoid its first winless ACC season since that same year, which explains why tickets were selling for $6 on Stub Hub on Tuesday.
Its a shame, actually, both that Maryland is leaving the ACC and how its leaving. The Terps will make more money in the Big Ten, even after the ACC gets its pound of litigious flesh on the way out the door.
More isnt always better, even when it comes to money. Heres the hard truth, Maryland: The Big Ten doesnt care about you or your fans, only the Penn State and Ohio State fans who live in Washington and are willing to pay for the Big Ten Network.
And, no, the ACC shouldnt throw the Terps a party on the way out the door, after all, it was their choice to leave. But Maryland has given a lot to the conference in football.
The Terps won the ACCs first national title (1953) and produced arguably the conferences best player, defensive tackle Randy White, and one of its best tacticians in former head coach Ralph Friedgen.
Maryland also gave the ACC the biggest comeback in NCAA history (since broken), a 31-point comeback in a 42-40 win over Miami in 1984. Then was on the losing end of the biggest comeback in a game between two ACC teams 2011, a 56-41 Wolfpack win, after the Terps led 27-0.
The games between the Terps and Pack in 2001, 03, 10 and 11 were all-timers. It would be fun if N.C. State scheduled the Terps, instead of South Alabama, Central Michigan or Georgia Southern, but that wont happen any time soon, if ever.
You really cant blame N.C. State for avoiding Maryland, which former coach Tom OBrien labeled the Wolfpacks version of the Bermuda Triangle.
It was Maryland that kept Russell Wilson and the Wolfpack out of the ACC title game in 2010. It was Maryland that swept Philip Rivers all four of his years at State, including his Senior Day ceremony when his jersey was retired.
No, we wont see Maryland on a football field in these parts for a while. Its too bad. No one else will say it, certainly not anyone from Greensboro, but Maryland will be missed. A hale and hearty adieu to you, Terps. Saturdays in the ACC wont be the same, and neither will your trips to Iowa City or Evanston.
Giglio: firstname.lastname@example.org, @jwgiglio, 919-829-8938