Thursday, September 14, 2006

What Has Happened To Maryland Football?

Halftime as I write this. West Virginia 38, Maryland 10. This was over five minutes into the game. The Terps have been thoroughly embarrassed on national television once again. In reading the newspapers and message boards, there are questions whether or not Ralph Friedgen is the answer for Maryland. He did lead the Terps to three straight bowl appearances from 2001-2003, won the 2001 ACC Championship and a national coach of the year award. However, a majority of these players he coached were from the prior head coach, Ron Vanderlinden. After the Gator Bowl hammering of West Virginia, big things were expected from the Fridge and the Terps. The goal was to be a consistent top ten team and contend for a national championship.

However, back to back 5-6 seasons have set this program back. It's clear that Ralph and his staff are struggling to recruit the kind of talent into College Park that is needed to compete at the highest level. Remember, two of Maryland's chief competitors for talent in the state, West Virginia and Penn State were down when Fridge took over.

Now WVU and PSU are up again. Throw up and coming Rutgers into the mix and you have a lot of competition for Northeastern recruits. The three straight bowl games and ACC Championship are a distant memory. Today's recruits were in Junior High School when Maryland went to the Orange Bowl after the 2001 season.

Maryland should not even think about firing Ralph Friedgen. In my opinion, he's earned the right to coach at Maryland as long as he wants (unless he starts losing 7, 8, 9 games every year). This program had been to one bowl game in the fifteen years prior to his arrival. Byrd Stadium has been sold out the past four seasons. What to do? Change the coaching staff around? Miami’s Larry Coker has tried that this season and it will be interesting to see how this works out.

Looking ahead I think the window is all but closed for being the type of consistent top 10-15 program that it looked like they could have been pre-ACC expansion. I really think Maryland's best case scenario is getting to a point where they can win 7 or 8 games consistently and go to bowls most years.

I'm still going to be in my seats in Section 19 at Byrd Stadium rooting them on. I love college football and the University of Maryland has meant a lot to my Dad, so no way do I abandon ship.


Anonymous said...

Even though we are getting killed. The team is not giving up. After the first half I was pissed like everyone else. I am thinking now if some way we can turn around the D for the rest of the season and the O keeps playing well(tonight is not a very good judge with the stats, It is hard when are best thing is running basically and you are down 28-0 and you really can't anymore) some promising players like Oquendo, DHB, Keon, Lance, I. Williams. I think this team has a chance to be good. But they need to correct the problems on D. We will see where the team goes from here. They could either drop off and have another losing season or play the rest of the season with a chip on their shoulders. Time will only tell what is going to happen. I hope they choose the ladder. Come on Terps. Keep on Fighting, don't give in.

B.C. said...

Wow ... back to our teams sucking ass ...Just one game and 3 games collectively but the Skins and Terps are hurtin. Maybe I should follow the Yankees and Heat like everyone else ... Nothing like being a front runner but alas I can not... I must live and die with My Teams... MY Original teams I have followed since the days I began to cry when they lost...Im still crying ... Now if the Skins happen to beat Dallas everything will be right with the free world again !! Thats whats great about sports...down one week ...back up the next!! Go Skins and Terps! And always and forever f^*k the Yankees.!!!