Maryland announced Wednesday that quarterback C.J. Brown will miss the entire season with a torn ACL. The Terps were already set to be a 3-9 to 5-7 type team this season, but even though Brown was not a great player, this should set that projection back at least a full win to a projection of 2-10 to 4-8. Maryland might not win an ACC game, as they do not draw the fifth or sixth place projected teams Miami and Duke from the Coastal Division.
Why is this so bad? Depth, or lack thereof. Danny O'Brien, the 2010 ACC rookie of the year, bolted for Wisconsin taking advantage of the graduate student transfer exemption after Maryland changed up the offensive style.
The cupboard at quarterback now looks like many of Maryland's other positions: bare.
That's right. Maryland's quarterback options now consist of two true freshmen with zero other BCS offers between them, or potentially a former quarterback who was moved to receiver. Yikes.
Florida State travels to Maryland on November 17, after playing at Virginia Tech on Thursday, Nov 8. Florida State plays Florida on Nov 24.
This is a sandwich game between Florida State's second and third most important games this season (Clemson is the most important given the division implications). And there's a possibility of nasty weather.
But given Maryland's depth issues and general lack of talent, the Terps are extremely unlikely to challenge Florida State.
And that makes the timing of this game a lot better. With Florida playing two consecutive non-BCS games, the Gators will be resting players and focusing on Florida State for the entire month of November.
Even though Maryland is a divisional opponent, the 'Noles should be able to do the same (I think they already could have before the injury, but Brown being out cements it). Have a player banged up? Don't take him on the trip and run him out there in cold weather. Leave him in Tallahassee for treatment and get him ready for Florida.
Having brought in three recruiting classes to Tallahassee as head coach, Jimbo Fisher has repeatedly emphasized the team's depth this off-season. Maryland's weakened status should allow the 'Noles to leverage that depth and go into the Florida game healthier than they otherwise would have been.