Division-I Dilemma; Where Does College Football Fit in D.C.'S Sports Landscape?

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 4, 2013 | Go to article overview

Division-I Dilemma; Where Does College Football Fit in D.C.'S Sports Landscape?


Byline: Mike Harris, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As has been noted a couple of million times before, this area has changed quite a bit over the years. I grew up here, then left for college in 1974 and didn't return to stay until 2011. Yeah, things have changed.

In the 2A' years since I've returned, I have managed to figure out a lot of things about the new D.C. I've picked up some tricks about Metro (and learned, harshly, not to call it the subway). I know new ways to get to Nationals Park and Verizon Center. I've found many new restaurants. I can get to a dozen or so dog parks.

Yep, you can take the Richmonder tag off me and call me a D.C. guy again.

One thing I haven't figured out? College football. Where does it fit in these parts? Does it fit? There doesn't seem to be much of a buzz, but maybe I just haven't picked up on it yet.

Maryland opened its season Saturday with an easy victory over Florida International and the Terps announced a crowd of 36,321 for a stadium that seats 54,000. Sure, Maryland has been down lately - coach Randy Edsall has a 7-18 record one game into his third season - but a program with any buzz at all fills its stadium for a season opener regardless of recent history or quality of opponent. Or at least gets a little closer to filling the joint.

It would seem, given the size of the alumni bases, that Virginia and Virginia Tech would have very big followings around here and they probably do. To do proper research for this topic, I may have to seek out a few local establishments that cater to those groups. Surely there are some Wahoo-specific and Hokie-specific bars in town? Looks like I have a project on my hands.

The feeling might be different if those three programs were as strong as they've been in the not so distant past.

There are those seven Maryland wins over two-plus seasons. The Terps went to bowl games seven times in 10 seasons under Ralph Friedgen.

Virginia underwent a staff shakeup after last season and Cavaliers coach Mike London (who won a national championship at the Football Championship Subdivision level at Richmond) is showing up on a lot of hot seat lists. He's been 4-8 in two of his three full seasons with an 8-5 campaign in the middle. …

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