What makes a rivalry? Does there have to be a reason for bad blood between the programs? Do fans need a reason to care? Or is geographic proximity enough? Few matchups classified as a “rivalry” by some embody the debate more than West Virginia and Maryland.
With the Mountaineers set to kickoff the season on the road against the Terrapins, it brings to the question: is West Virginia-Maryland a true rivalry?
A history of playing often can create a rivalry and these two programs, who first squared off in 1919, had that going for them for almost three full decades, playing year from 1980 to 2007. But of course, some may also argue there was still no major game moment throughout the years, mostly because the schools never shared a conference.
There’s no real rivalry between West Virginia and Maryland. There’s no moment to trigger any reason for hate. There’s been no big game. No one beat anyone for anything of relevance. I get the geography and recruiting implications, but that’s not enough to create a true rivalry.
— Mike J. Asti (@MikeAsti11) August 30, 2021
After 2007, the matchup was reignited in 2015, but that game was extremely one sided and saw WVU pound Maryland 45-6. It took until this season another edition of this game to be played, which could lead to time away ruining any rivalry that did exist.
I’ve been to enough Maryland games to have enough reasons to hate them. A lot of it stems from it always being an early matchup where both teams have high expectations and it usually set the tone for the whole year.
— Sean Manning (@SeanManning_1) August 30, 2021
Regardless whether this matchup is truly a rivalry or not, it is a big game this season, if for no other reason than both teams want to start off the new season with a win.
West Virginia has a 28-22-2 lead in the “rivalry” with Maryland all-time. Kickoff for the latest edition is scheduled to kickoff at 3:30 this Saturday.