For the foreseeable future, the upside of Maryland football seems to be about what they did in 2021; 4th-5th in the Big Ten East, 6-6 overall and win a crappy bowl to claim a winning record and momentum going into the next year, where Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and now Michigan State again wait to slap them around. Hard to get excited about that. Very hard.
IMO it's about taking incremental steps, positioning you to take a larger leap later.
- Step 0 is improving the facilities. (Check.)
- Step 1 is stacking classes.... which MD is starting to do.
- Step 2 is getting into the bowl cycle. Increased practices, and a necessary step.
- Step 3 is not being run off the field in games against the best, winning all the games you should, and winning some of the toss-up games. Springing the occasional upset.
- Step 4 is defending your homefield.
- Step 5 is jumping into the back of the Top 25.
There are more steps beyond that, but to me this is what the next 2-4 years is.
'22 is incredibly important.
You've got a quality experienced QB returning from a bowl winning team.
You've got strong offensive weapons, and an experienced oline.
You've got to maximize that.
I didn't include, but maybe Step 1.5... continue to improve the tailgating and game day experience. A better fan experience is better for the players, and better for recruiting.
I also didn't include further investment into the coaching staff. Seems like a pretty solid Asst staff right now. If you believe in them, give them what they need to stick around a couple of years. If you believe you can improve on them, spend the money to do so.