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Friedgen's Hot Seat

Check out the coaches’ hot seat 2009 Web site for the up-to-the-second rankings of the nation’s division I-A coaches under the most pressure right now. Who's seat is scorching?

It’s interesting. Two area coaches make the top three. Virginia’s Al Groh, who would seem to be the unanimous choice at No. 1. Louisville’s Steve Kragthorpe is No. 2, which is a shame because Kragthorpe is far more personable than his predecessor, Bobby Petrino. And No. 3 goes to our own Ralph Friedgen.

Now this has been a bad start for Maryland. No question. But should Friedgen really be ahead of Dan Hawkins of Colorado or Charlie Weis of Notre Dame? I have my doubts about that. Weis's biggest win was a close loss to USC in 2005. And Friedgen beat, what, four ranked teams last season alone?

What does everyone else think of the rankings?

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 22, 2009; 12:07 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: So, How Many Wins Now For Maryland?
Next: The Path to a Bowl Game


After USC's loss, I'm sure that there's some Trojans fan out there screaming for Carroll's job. Not only did he lose to the lowly Huskies, but now USC will have to go yet another year without a national championship.

And here, at Maryland, we'd comment on how absurd that is.

Well, right now, someone at Cincinnati or UNC or Mississippi State or Kansas or Duke is commenting on how absurd our current discussion is.

Frank Beamer took over at VT in 1987, didn't make a bowl game until 93, but now has a team that fans should expect to be a perennial league champion and top 10 team. There are not many other examples of guys who took a very middling to bad program and turned it completely around in as short a time as Beamer. And he took much longer than some people are willing to give Ralph. We should be excited that we get upset about not being a team that's more consistently in the top 25.

Again - not to say that things shouldn't be better right now. We should be upset about our performance. But if we want to become a program that is one of the best in the country, we're going to need to recognize that it's a long process. We're a lot better off than we used to be and I think Ralph deserves the time to try to continue improving and to make sure everything is in place to continue improving once he retires.

We're at a point right now that a complete overhaul could have the effect of sending us all the way back to square one. I'm not ready to take that risk yet.

Sorry for the long post.

Posted by: ICBomber | September 22, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

As big as The Fridge still is, he probably needs 2 seats.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 22, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Poop, the Fridge is half the man he used to be these days.

I'm going to reserve judgment till the end of the year. if the ship can be turned around then it's obviously no. If the season goes down in flames, well....that's more of a challenge.

Posted by: EricS2 | September 22, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

You have resorted to posting links to idiot fan websites? Must be a slow news week. Pathetic!!!

Posted by: UnitedWeStand | September 22, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse


Not many people have turned programs around faster than Beamer? You're kidding, right? Jim Donnan at Georgia took them from perennial 6-6 to over 8 wins a season after just 1 season on job (1996 was 5-6, 1997 was 10-2), then Mark Richt came in and took just 1 year to take it up another level (2001 - 8-4, 2002 - 13-1) including 6 10-win seasons in 8 years. Urban Meyer took over for Ron Zook at UF and led them to a Nat'l Title in his 2nd year, then again in his 4th. Nick Saban - did it in a couple seasons at both LSU and Alabama.

Outside the ACC, look at Ohio State (Tressel), Oklahoma (Bob Stoops), Texas (Mack Brown) among others.

Beamer is a great coach, but he is by no means a measuring stick of building a program.

As far as Fridge, his best seasons came without his players. He has trouble recruiting his own backyard, losing top recruits to SEC, Big Ten and other ACC programs, and has complete misses (withdrawing offer from Steve Slaton). If you can't recruit the talent needed, you can't win. And Terps fans... you are a huge part of that. Recruits come and see NO gameday atmosphere at Byrd Stadium. They rarely see sell outs. Then they see Big 10 schools, SEC Schools where everygame is sold out, no matter if they are playing Louisiana-Lafayette or Tennessee, and tailgating is an all-day ritual and fans pack the campus early in the morning for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Recruits want to play in the big time, and frankly, Maryland doesn't have that.

Posted by: Jeep_guy | September 22, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

By Fushezzi
Washington Post Blog Commenter
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sources have informed be that Eric Prisbell is on the hot seat. The long-time columnist/blogger at the Washington Post has come under criticism for short blogs, grammar and UMD bias. There is also speculation Prisbell has been kept around simply to keep the seat warm until prospect Steve Yanda is ready for the big leagues.

"It's time for Eric to go," said Poopy McPoop, a commentor on the Terps Insider site Prisbell currently blogs for. "He's been holding us back. This should be an elite blog. Look at Redskins Insider. They get all the comments. We're going to be stuck as a mediocre blog until we get rid of Prisbell."

"Yeah, he's got turd breath" added Carolina1.

Sources also speculate that Dan Steinberg, Video Editor Jon Forsythe, Barno1 and Mike Mardesich are being considered for Prisbell's position.

More information will be provided as soon as Jason LaCanfora fabricates it and relays it to me.

Posted by: fushezzi | September 22, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

JeepGuy: You're right about recruits wanting to play in the big time. And that's what takes time to create. Every coaching example you gave was of a school with a long and strong football history. Fans at OU, Texas, Florida, OSU, etc, were schools that already were big time. All of a sudden football at Florida became big time because they hired Urban Meyer? Not quite.

Posted by: ICBomber | September 22, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Jeep is right in the fact that our fans are not helping. Our fans are only interested when everything is going great. You know it is bad when you can't even stand on a key 3rd down play without some fan asking you to sit down. There is no reason we can't help improve the atmosphere and create a home field advantage.

Posted by: garrett4 | September 22, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Amazing post Fushezzi. The website Prisbell linked to is a joke. Debbie Yow has no intentions of firing Friedgen this year...and well, that's the bottom line.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 22, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Friedgen might be getting a lot of heat, but that's different from being on the hot seat. He's in no danger of being removed from his job this season (barring off field catastrophe, which he largely avoids). I think, like a certain basketball coach in College Park, he's made his bones and has the right to stay. Though I believe Fridge will leave on his own terms in the next couple years if he thinks recruiting well and winning is beyond his ability.

In terms of fan support - in better college football areas, schools sell out by pushing the gameday atmosphere. Ole Miss draws fans purely for The Grove, and they have not even matched Maryland's success on the field over the years. I think Maryland could make the gameday campus experience nicer - just a thought.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 22, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

While being “young” is often used as an adjective to describe this team, it is also nothing more than an EXCUSE. This team is loaded with talent at many of the skill positions, including an all ACC caliber tailback.

Losing to MTSU and being taken to overtime by a I-AA team on your home turf are solely the fault of one Ralph Freidgen. The team has not been ready to play and the play calling on offense (thanks James Franklin) has been abysmal at best. Yeah, I know, CT hasn’t had enough time to make the throws and the run blocking isn’t what it should be…again, just excuses.

At some point Debbie Yow needs to wake up and realize that there is a reason that Ralph was never a head coach in the NFL or anywhere else for that matter and that if James Franklin was actually worth anything, he would have already paid his dues as a head coach at a successful I-AA program like Richmond, JMU or App State.

Thanks for the memories Ralph. Hey Debbie, pick up the phone and call Mike London down at UofR before Virginia cans Al Groh and gets to him first.

Posted by: goochlandterp | September 22, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Losing to MTSU and being taken to overtime by a I-AA team on your home turf are solely the fault of one Ralph Freidgen.

Posted by: goochlandterp | September 22, 2009 7:01 PM

You are delusional

Posted by: Barno1 | September 22, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

The Fridge may be under some heat but he's not going anywhere. Furthermore, how do you fire a guy and then award the job to a man appointed by the fired?!?! The whole school winds up looking stupid. The head-coach in waiting business is a croc.

Posted by: cjterps98 | September 22, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

The head-coach in waiting business is a croc.

Posted by: cjterps98 | September 22, 2009 8:16 PM

Well there's one thing we definitely agree on. It is a crock.

I'll freely admit I could be way off on this, but I believe Franklin's skin color had something to do with him being named the successor. Of course, that's one of the dangers of affirmative action. Franklin could be perfectly well qualified for the gig but because of the existence of racial preference policies, some will question whether his race was a factor.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 22, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the university went out of its way to point out that he was black when they announced him as Friedgen's successor, and Debbie Yow is not exactly a Republican.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 22, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

facilities sell players and players win games. The recruits can tell if the school supports the sport or not. all three of my kids played or are playing college spoprts and they said top notch facilities aent them that message. Every school in our region has a finished stadium. Univ of Minn built a brand new stadium. Maryland is the richest state in the country--and we have a stadium at the flagship state university that still isnt finished. they did it for basketball--now do it for football--finish Byrd Stadium with an upper deck in the west end--now!!-- before MD screws up football like they did in 1986 when Bobby Ross left and it took 15 years to recover!!

Posted by: beardown29 | September 23, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

beardown29, you are kidding right? Hard to tell because it came off as a serious comment about needing more seats at Byrd, but it seems unlikely you are really that out of I'm hoping for your sake you were joking.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Great quotes in that article by MD's Ronnie Tyler and MTS's Alex Suber:

Said wide receiver Ronnie Tyler, "I feel like the true fans are behind us, and that's really the only thing that we're concerned about."

Cornerback Alex Suber told the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tenn., after Saturday's game that the 2008 victory over Maryland was "great because our fans were so loud. But it was quieter here. Those 40,000 or so fans aren't quite what they say they are."

Finally someone has said this publicly, even if it did come from an opposing team's player. The fans at Byrd are a joke. The students are loud, the rest of the fans are an absolute joke. It's embarrassing trying to get people into the game, make noise when we're on defense, stand up on key plays...and having the vast majority of fans just sit there with that deer in the headlight look, like "why are you trying to make noise at a football game, I don't understand."

Right now MD has no homefield advantage whatsoever, and the fans are to blame.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse

barno1---believe me, I am in touch!! I am not saying that MD needs more seats---because if they cant sell the ones they have now....but currently, MD has the temporary bleachers in the end zone(the same ones they had when I was there in the early 70's) and they are crap seats. there must be 6,000 seats like this. If MD builds an upper deck(correctly) then those seats become better seats worth buying. the upper deck they have planned would seat 13,000--and so half of those seats would have been filled---those seat sell before the ones in the upper corners of the current upper deck. here is the thing--I love UM, I am a graduate, a letterwinner and a season ticket holder in Fball and Bball for 20 years---and I havent lived in the area for 16 years. I have lived in other areas of the country, so I know what other schools have done--ones who are serious about winning. MD has come a long way in the area of facilities. but they still have a way to go to be able to compete for the best players. Yeah, we will fire this coach and a new one will come in and feed the recruits a bunch of bullcrap about what we are going to do and then when it doesnt get done--the players start going other places and the cycle repeats itself. The best players want to play with the other best players. These players go to the schools they know are committed to winning, not just competing. For the last bunch of years attendance has been better than anytime in my memory---and we havent finished the stadium under those circumstances. now we are back in the downcycle again--history repeats itself. One comment to your observations of last saturday's game---poorly managed at the end--no doubt about it! and we better get some defense or we wont beat anybody. If RF is guilty of one thing over the years--it is being too conservative. He should have put Scott back in the game at the end and told him to get his team the 2 yards they needed to ice the game--actually--get 5 yards and lets get the hell outta there!!

Posted by: beardown29 | September 23, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Ok, thanks for the clarification. Actually, it's 3,000 seats in those bleachers, not 6,000. Not sure if they're the exact same ones that were brought in in the 70s, but the current ones were brought back in 2001 for the clemson game and have remained there ever since.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Friedgen on the hot seat? Sounds like some bored writers. The only reason anyone is currently reading this blog is that the Fridge made the Terps relevant again! If it wasn't for him, it would be like the 90's when I was a student there. There was a game where me and my buddy were literally the only students in the student section except for another student who was there with her parents who were visiting.

Posted by: aviscardo | September 23, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Viscardo, you're exactly right. No one went to games in the 90s. In fact 17,000 more fans, on average, attend Terps game the last 8 years than they did prior to Fridge's arrival the previous 8 years. With numbers like that, the fat genius isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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