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Yow's baseline expectation: a 7-5 record in 2010

Check out the story Steve Yanda and I wrote for today's paper. When I asked Athletic Director Debbie Yow whether there was a bar she wanted Coach Ralph Friedgen to meet next season, she said: "I would anticipate that in the regular season we would have a winning season. We play 12 games, so I would anticipate that we would be 7-5 at least in the regular season."

So now we know what the bar is for next season. Friedgen needs at least an improvement of five victories to meet the clear and public minimum expectations established by his athletic director. Achieving a winning record in the regular season will be a challenge.

Consider the schedule:
Maryland opens the season at Navy in Baltimore. The Terrapins also play a nonconference game at West Virginia. In conference play, Maryland travels to Miami. The Terps also get a Jimbo Fisher-led Florida State team at home.

Consider the offensive line: The talented wide receivers should be improved. The talented running backs should be improved. Quarterback Jamarr Robinson (or one of the younger QBs) should be improved. The offensive line can only get better, but Maryland loses center Phil Costa and could very well lose hulking left tackle Bruce Campbell to the NFL draft -- who could blame him? The line needs to take significant steps forward. Maryland needs a running game after not having one this season.

Special teams play should be a strength. The defense should improve in the second year of coordinator Don Brown's system. But play at cornerback needs to improve in a hurry. The linebacker corps should really be a strength. Safety Kenny Tate could turn into the player coaches envision him to be.

Overall, Maryland has young talent all over the field. But Maryland needs to get off to a fast start despite a difficult nonconference season in 2010, and the Terrapins need to be competitive in the ACC in order to achieve at least a 7-5 regular season record to satisfy the expectations of Yow. If Friedgen does not reach that mark, we're all back in the same situation next December, and the cost to bid farewell to Friedgen is $2 million cheaper. And the cost to say goodbye to Friedgen and coach-in-waiting James Franklin would be a total of $3 million.

By Eric Prisbell  |  December 2, 2009; 8:08 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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It's all about money, of course. Ms Yow is trying to sell tickets by forcing a promise from Coach Friedgen of a winning 2010 football season. Because the outcomes of most football games are determined largely by chance events, it seems ridiculous to try to hold a coaching staff to a priori win-loss standards. For more or less evenly matched teams, the outcome for any particular game is a crapshoot. Over time, the 'breaks' even out. Maybe 2010 will be a great year for our Terps. Maybe not. For Maryland, however, big-time money generating sports are likely to remain unsustainable. It was a close thing even when Jim Tatum ran the football program and he had President Byrd in his corner.

Posted by: AncientTerp | December 2, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Yow, what in the world was she doing sitting at the scorers table in Bloomington? Did a booster give up a seat on the charter, or did she feel it necessary to watch the Terps courtside hours after dealing with the Fridge situation?

The AD should not be traveling with the team to away games unless she's paying her own way.

Posted by: Russtinator | December 2, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

hey- where can i see a copy of the 2010 schedule? can't find it anywhere!

Posted by: testudofan21 | December 2, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The AD should not be traveling with the team to away games unless she's paying her own way.

Posted by: Russtinator | December 2, 2009 1:59 PM

Or showing her support????

Posted by: Barno1 | December 2, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"Or showing her support????"

Don't have a problem with that, it was just odd to me to see her courtside at that game just mere hours after dealing with the Fridge issue (the charter to Indiana probably left before noon when her press release about Fridge came just after 9 AM). I also have a problem with an athletic department that's all of a sudden crying poor can afford to send the AD to an away game. If she paid her own way, I apologize, but something tells me her seat on the charter and courtside ticket at the game came out of the department's pocket. I know she does travel with a lot of the teams to away games (she sat 5 rows in front of me at the Cal game next to Dr. Mote), but to be in such a visible location at the scorers table and a few chairs away from Gary was a bit strange (maybe she has a connection to someone at IU).

She just was not the face I wanted to look at every 5 minutes on TV during a good basketball game after what has happened over the past week.

Posted by: Russtinator | December 2, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"hey- where can i see a copy of the 2010 schedule? can't find it anywhere!

The schedule won't be released until January when they start asking for season ticket committments.

The Navy game is already set for September 4, and we already know that they'll be playing at WVU in the non-conference. That means they will have 2 more non-conference games (one will probably be a FCS team) along with the 8 ACC opponents, which for 2010 will be:

@ Clemson

That means a likely 6-game home slate that would include Wake, NCSU, FSU, Duke, and two "buy games" along with a 7th "home" game against Navy at M&T.

As usual, the times for all of the ACC games won't be determined until 12 days prior. The times for the 4 non-conference games may be set in January, but don't bet on it.

Posted by: Russtinator | December 2, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

man, that out of conference schedule looks TOUGH. we barely beat Navy last time, and now we suck. At Morgantown is a tough win for USC, let alone UMD.

I like to think we beat wake, ncsu and duke at home, along with the two cream puffs we will schedule (no MTSU or JMU PLEASE). Ralph better find two more wins in there.

I want the fat man to return us to prominence (or even relevance) but not sure it will happen. Glad he got another year, but with a baseline of 7-5 and that schedule, it is going to be tough.

Posted by: jpfterps | December 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

JP, Navy was better in 05. And we were in midst of back to back 5-6 seasons.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 4, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

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