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Terps vs. Cavs: One Up, One Down

Ralph Friedgen and Al Groh began their current tenures in 2001. Each coach has gone to five bowl games. Friedgen holds a decided edge in winning percentage (60-32, including this season, compared to Groh's 52-40 record), but over the past four-plus seasons, it's a virtual dead heat: Friedgen, 29-24; Groh, 30-23.

What's striking is how rarely both teams have been good at the same time, a trend that appears on track to continue this season. Only twice in the past seven full seasons have both Maryland and Virginia finished with winning records (2002 and 2003), and last season was just the third in which both programs finished the season in bowl games. Yet this is the only the second time in eight years that either team has entered the matchup with a losing record.

.............Maryland....Virginia...........................Maryland....Virginia
Year .....Entering.....Entering....Result...........Final...........Final
2008......4-1.............1-3...........TBA
2007......4-2.............6-1...........Va., 18-17......6-7.............9-4
2006......3-2.............2-4...........Md., 28-26......9-4............5-7
2005......2-2.............3-0...........Md., 45-33......5-6............7-5
2004......4-4.............6-1...........Va., 16-0.........5-6.............8-4
2003......6-3.............5-4...........Md., 27-17......10-3...........8-5
2002......9-2.............7-4...........Va., 48-13.......11-3...........9-5
2001......4-0.............3-1...........Md., 41-21.......10-2...........5-7

So what does it all mean? It's hard to say. In five of the previous seven meetings, the team that entered with the better record won the game. In five of the previous seven seasons, the team that won the game finished the season with a superior record. You'd think both those trends would continue, but we shall see: The past two meetings have been decided by three points combined.

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 30, 2008; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

MR have you seen the web site http://www.dontfirealgroh.com/. I had quite a few chuckles reading that site. FREDTERP

Posted by: FREDTERP | September 30, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

UVA or MTSU the more embarassing loss? Come on, that's absurd. UVA is imploding this year, but to act like it is a mid-major program? Only in the Terp-loving Post... Does the Post not realize how many readers in this area follow UVA instead of Maryland? For many of us, the Terps are NOT the "home" team. I do realize this is the Terrapins Insider section but you would never see an item written that way in UVA's insider section.

Yes, it has been fairly even over Groh's and Fridge's tenure. The difference in winning percentage can be explained pretty easily - the Fridge has fattened up on cupcakes on his out of conference opponents. If he had mixed in a tougher game or two per year (not hard to do) then the record would be worse. I'll give credit for Cal this year (nice win) but there should have been more of those sorts of games on the schedule in years past.

Posted by: Virginia Reader | September 30, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Convenient excuse, Virginia reader. In 2005, Maryland beat Virginia head to head and both teams finished with 3-5 ACC marks. Fortunately for Virginia, they won all three OOC games against patsies, while Maryland won two and lost to eventual Sugar Bowl winner West Virginia. Thus, Virginia went to a bowl and Maryland did not. But feel free to continue your rant....

Posted by: Joe W. | September 30, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

UVA or MTSU the more embarassing loss? Come on, that's absurd. UVA is imploding this year, but to act like it is a mid-major program? Only in the Terp-loving Post...

Posted by: Virginia Reader | September 30, 2008 2:27 PM

come one, yourself, Virginia reader. there is only on major program in Va...and its NOT in Charlottesville

Posted by: mdrockjock | September 30, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

VirginiaReader Get out a map and see which school is closer to DC. FREDTERP

Posted by: FREDTERP | September 30, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

"the Fridge has fattened up on cupcakes on his out of conference opponents."

And we all know the Richmond Spiders are a top-notch football program.

"If he had mixed in a tougher game or two per year (not hard to do) then the record would be worse. I'll give credit for Cal this year (nice win)"

We always schedule atleast one tough out of conference game (WVU for many years, Cal now for the next couple). But you obviously don't understand that one big reason for out of conference games is to get the number in the W column up. That's why we pay schools to play us. It's what every major program does. And if you only schedule tough out of conference games, (while ballsy), you have a higher chance of being left out of the bowl games at the end of the year. And bowl games mean money and advertisment for the school.

Posted by: Laura | October 1, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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