Every year the Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule comes out around this time, and every year I do the same thing: look at the games, then text my man Mike Tirico asking him which he likes. Then we have Mike text or call the powers that be at ESPN and ask them to broadcast the game we like. Actually, when our Tuesday night Big Ten Super Tuesday crew needs anything, we ask Mike to call someone because, you know, he's Mike Tirico.
But this year, where do Mike and I start? Maryland at North Carolina, the matchup of the possible preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country, right?
Before we answer that question, a couple of words of caution about Maryland. Every year there is a Big Ten team that surprises with a great season, then falls flat the next year. Two years ago it was Iowa. Last season it was Nebraska. The Big Ten exposes teams that aren't connected, and it exposes selfish teams. Why? Because the Big Ten is by far the best-scouted league in the country, and does the absolute best job of exposing teams' weaknesses -- because every game is a grind.
In 2015-16, beware of Maryland.