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Way-too-early 2015 Big Ten football power rankings

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11. Maryland Terrapins

NCAA Football: Maryland at SyracuseCongratulations on making a bowl game in year one of your Big Ten journey there Maryland. Year two promises to be much more challenging, that’s for sure.

Not only do the Terps face games at Wisconsin and Ohio State, but they will face said schedule with most of the big playmakers from this season gone and last time we checked both Wisconsin and OSU took the Terps to the woodshed with said talent in place.

There will be no C.J. Brown at quarterback and no Deon Long or Stefon Diggs at wide receiver either heading in to 2015.

Oh, and Maryland also must replace eight defensive starters from the final game including all three on the defensive line. That means no more Andre Monroe, who was a second-team All-Big Ten pick by the media, and it also leaves only William Likely as a known quantity on the defensive side of the football.

As for replacing Brown at quarterback, look for Perry Hills (5-10, 86 yards, 1 TD) and senior Caleb Rowe (34-54, 489 yards, 5 TDs, 4 INTs) to battle it out for the starting job. However, neither are the running threat that Brown was and that’s vital in Edsall’s offense.

Cue the biggest problem facing the Terps in 2015 — a severe lack of a running game. The top two running backs on the roster combined for under 800 yards on the season, and without Brown there to bail them out it’s going to be a major question mark.

Given the competitiveness of the Big Ten these days, that is a whole lot of production and star quality to lose all at once. It’s safe to say if Maryland is a .500 or better team in 2015 it will be a master coaching job by Randy Edsall.

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Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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