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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 01/ 3/2011

The new 2011 Edsall Ford

By Ryan Cooper

When I heard yesterday that Randy Edsall was named the new Maryland football coach, I had one reaction.

None. I had no reaction. I was speechless.

I just don’t get it. I know they feel Edsall is the “safe, conservative choice”, and I get that the administration didn’t want the risk a guy like Mike Leach entailed. But that’s just the thing. The mandate was there from the fans, and the alumni to take the risk to hire Mike Leach. They were willing to accept whatever craziness Leach brought to the table in order to compete for ACC Titles and (potentially) National Titles. We wanted an Air Raid attack, and we wanted wacky pirate stories. We were willing to accept the fact that he may have gone crazy.

There’s a part of me that wonders if the current situation at Pitt had a lot to do with the administration suddenly backing off of Leach. Their new coach is out already after being accused of domestic violence. I wonder if there were those who feared hiring Leach would lead to a similar situation where he would go and do something off-the-wall crazy that necessitated an immediate dismissal.

That’s the thing about risk. There’s a chance it wouldn’t have worked out. But the potential benefits of hiring Leach were off the charts. He would have been a national face for the program. An absolute dynamo in the world of mediocre ACC football. Did he bring baggage? Absolutely. But he also brought potential. He brought hope.  He brought hype and personality and freshness to a program that had gone stale, and had been recognized for few other things recently than the size of Ralph Friedgen’s belly.

I’m sure Randy Edsall is a perfectly capable football coach. I bet he drinks his milk and eats his vitamins. That being said, the Edsall hiring speaks to me of more 8-4 records every single year and Military Bowls. The administration played this situation too conservatively, and I feel like the program just took a giant step back.

I had an argument with my friend Ed on Facebook about the whole Friedgen thing (he was a supporter). I quoted him a line from The Alamo (the one with Billy Bob Thornton, not John Wayne): “You’ll settle for relevancy…I want ACC Titles and Orange Bowls”.

Looks like I ended up on the wrong side of the San Jacinto.

By Ryan Cooper  | January 3, 2011; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Ryan Cooper, Terps  | Tags:  Ryan Cooper, Terps  
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Next: Past, present, and draft

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