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What O'Brien's progress means for Friedgen's future at Maryland

It’s not fair, but it’s true: The progress of a quarterback fresh off celebrating his 20th birthday will go a long way toward determining whether a 63-year-old coach retains the keys to his office next season. It's the crazy reality of college sports.

The question hovering over the entire season concerns the future of 10th-year Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen and offensive coordinator James Franklin’s coach-in-waiting agreement, two issues complicated by the fact that a new athletic director and president will be officially employed at Maryland soon. The question I considered for the first time over the weekend is whether Danny O’Brien, a 20-year-old redshirt freshman quarterback, can ultimately lift this team beyond mediocrity and in turn save his coach’s job.

There were plenty of people ready to bid Friedgen adieu before the season began. But if an offensive line – minus its best lineman in Justin Gilbert – can play as adequately as it did Saturday, and if O’Brien continues to develop, this team has a chance to compete for a bowl berth in the typically unpredictable, unspectacular ACC. Granted, those are two conditions that must hold true, but coaches know what they have in O’Brien, and they have known all along.

As I wrote in a feature on O’Brien a couple weeks ago, this is a guy with a schematic mind and a near obsession with preparation. He scouted opponents more than his high school coaches. He contributed plays to the high school playbook. He called his own plays on multiple series in high school games. After committing to Maryland, he impressed Franklin with detailed questions he would text to his future OC. And he mad late-night drives from North Carolina to College Park so he could sit in on quarterback meetings … as a high school senior. Even if he couldn’t throw the ball in the sea, let's concede he has an impressive work ethic.

Maryland's players act surprised when you ask about his composure and poise. They have seen it for more than a year. It’s no wonder that Friedgen flirted with the notion of burning O’Brien’s redshirt at the end of last year's lost 2-10 season. For Alex Wujciak, Maryland’s most accomplished linebacker, the moment he knew O’Brien had the moxie to succeed at a young age occurred in this season’s training camp. Facing the first-team defense, O’Brien calmly led the Terrapins on a 70-yard drive that ultimately ended with a field goal. “It was impressive,” Wujciak said. “We couldn’t stop him.”

Even after O’Brien’s performance against Morgan State on Sept. 11, which included throwing touchdown passes on three of the first four pass attempts of his career, coaches appeared to bite their lips, cautious about not showering O’Brien with too much praise. But they have had confidence in him all along, a surprising level of belief considering his youth. It has appeared as if they have been waiting for him to take ownership of the starting role, something we all may have witnessed Saturday.

Some are comparing the Jamarr Robinson-O’Brien quarterback debate to the Jordan Steffy-Chris Turner situation two years ago. (Steffy injured his thumb early in the season and, much to the delight of fans, Turner became the starting quarterback the rest of the season.) But Friedgen always had a soft spot for Steffy because he was a consummate professional; conversely, he had questioned Turner’s approach to practice early in the season, a perceived weakness that hurt Turner in his competition with Steffy. This season, Robinson is clearly the more dangerous runner, but he has thrown two interceptions and he has missed open receivers at times. O’Brien has not been perfect, but he has exhibited unnatural poise for a player his age. He read coverages, picked up blitzes and avoided costly mistakes on Saturday against a Florida International defense that entered the game with a strong reputation. Coaches believe he has a calming effect on the rest of the team. Friedgen doesn’t have a dog in this fight, but he knows O’Brien’s current ability and future upside -- and he needs to win and win now.

Regardless of who starts, because of their complementary skill sets, both are expected to play as we proceed into the ACC schedule. But it will probably be the progress of O’Brien that gives fans the most hope and coaches the best chance of being back next fall. At 3-1, nothing is guaranteed, but one can now envision a scenario in which the Terrapins return to a bowl game. And if they finish with a winning record – still a sizable if – more than a few fans will wonder what O’Brien can do as an encore with his kindred spirit, Franklin, and with a 64-year-old Friedgen in 2011.

Thoughts?

By Eric Prisbell  | September 28, 2010; 8:22 AM ET
Categories:  Danny O'Brien, Football  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Maryland quarterback O'Brien earns ACC rookie of the week honors
Next: Robinson practiced Monday but was limited

Comments

I worry if Franklin is the guy should Friedgen be fired. If you get rid of Friedgen, then you have to get rid of everybody.
O'Brien looks good. He is more the mold of the traditional pocket passer. Is he going to last behind this line? I think so, he seems to be able to sense trouble and get out of there at the right time. And he has an incredible arm. The future is looking up.

Posted by: jsm3 | September 28, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

A couple of thoughts.

1 - If RF delivers 8 wins this season (not including bowl game) he keeps his job. No doubt about it. Delivering only 7 wins is where decisions need to be made. To get to 8 wins, the Terps are going to have to beat some pretty good teams along the way, even in the weak ACC.

2 - If RF delivers 8 wins, with a rookie QB and this iteration of an o-line, then next year's team will be formidable and will be one of the faves in the ACC. Nothing like a returning QB to help the FB reputation and actually win games.

3 - Work Ethic is contagious. Would love to see how DOB's approach is rubbing off on other players.

4 - We have heard hype about our WRs going back a few years. It seems that finally, the coaching staff is getting the ball to our WRs. With an experienced and deep o-line, and our existing stable of RBs, MD should be scoring in the 30s consistently...next year.

5 - Next year does not matter if the stink up the place this year. Would like to see RF cement his situation by delivering the wins now.

I know a ton of folks on the board hate RF and lets face it 2-10 was way below anyone's worst fears. JF's play calling was pathetic. And o-line depth - ESPECIALLY considering how many Terps o-linemen have made the NFL - needs to improve dramatically. The recruiting posts are telling us that that is the case.

New season with no waiting until next year for the coaching staff. They know they need to win now which likely has clouded their judgement to this point.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | September 28, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

A couple of thoughts.

1 - If RF delivers 8 wins this season (not including bowl game) he keeps his job. No doubt about it. Delivering only 7 wins is where decisions need to be made. To get to 8 wins, the Terps are going to have to beat some pretty good teams along the way, even in the weak ACC.

2 - If RF delivers 8 wins, with a rookie QB and this iteration of an o-line, then next year's team will be formidable and will be one of the faves in the ACC. Nothing like a returning QB to help the FB reputation and actually win games.

3 - Work Ethic is contagious. Would love to see how DOB's approach is rubbing off on other players.

4 - We have heard hype about our WRs going back a few years. It seems that finally, the coaching staff is getting the ball to our WRs. With an experienced and deep o-line, and our existing stable of RBs, MD should be scoring in the 30s consistently...next year.

5 - Next year does not matter if the stink up the place this year. Would like to see RF cement his situation by delivering the wins now.

I know a ton of folks on the board hate RF and lets face it 2-10 was way below anyone's worst fears. JF's play calling was pathetic. And o-line depth - ESPECIALLY considering how many Terps o-linemen have made the NFL - needs to improve dramatically. The recruiting posts are telling us that that is the case.

New season with no waiting until next year for the coaching staff. They know they need to win now which likely has clouded their judgement to this point.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | September 28, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

And DOWN the stretch they come!

One can visualize (not pretty) Big Ralph riding OB to the wire.

As long as OB doesn't spit the bit, the Terps prospects are looking bright.

Posted by: MerlinTerps | September 28, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Fridge doesn't need to win 8 games to keep his job. A public university cannot pay him to leave. Six or 7 wins are plenty. so that means Duke and two more.

Posted by: EdDC | September 28, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I have been a UMD fan for 30 yrs but I am no supporter of Fridge...I think he has been a terrible recruiter/ coach and is not capable of putting together a competitive D1 program at UMD...UMD has been made up of his talent since 04 and he has had 2/7 winning seasons.

His teams are frequently unprepared and outhustled on the field and have sunk to such a low that the cupcakes on the early part of our schedule have become competitive games..JMU, Northern Ill, Middle Tenn State, Temple, FIU

He is the only Div1 coach to have cut a future Heismann candidate

He is the only UMD coach to post consecutive losses to a SBC team

He is the only coach in UMD history to post a 10 loss season

His goal is a 6 win season and a 2nd tier bowl...not good enough for $2M per year in my opinion

The fans can sense the palpable decline in this program over the last 6 years and it is evidenced in attendance, ticket sales and TV...the only way we get on TV now is based upon our opponent

UMD cant get rid of Fridge fast enough

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

O'Brien's game was promising, but I'm not sold for a couple of reasons. First, his arm strength leaves a lot to be desired. His outs were loopy and will be picked off against a legitimate defense with any kind of speed. Second, I don't know if he's got the toughness to compete against a real D-line. He turtled (pun intended) a couple of times on Saturday without being touched. One was so egregious that even the terrible ESPNU announcers noticed it.

I'm not ready to write him off - he's obviously a smart player who can make quick reads and get the ball out. And he'll have time to get his legs under him a bit, with Duke this weekend. But he's no savior, at least not yet.

I caveat all of the previous, of course, by noting that he's running Franklin's crummy offense. He and Ralph are embarrassments. Enough is enough. Let's pass the hat to fund the buyout.

Posted by: caphillterp | September 28, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

6-7 wins isn't good enough for me anymore. I'm tired of the irrelevant Champ Sports Bowl appearances. Maryland's recruiting class is currently ranked 36th on Rivals. Unless the recruiting improves, Obrien isn't going to have much talent to grow with him.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 28, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

It's a nice article on DOB. It's nice to have something promising in the future for the program. With that said, I want to point out another example of Prisbell's irresponsible journalism and his not so apparent axe to grind with Terp fans for giving him grief on poor past writings.

"(Steffy injured his thumb early in the season and, much to the delight of fans, Turner became the starting quarterback the rest of the season.)"

I seriously doubt not more than a few crazed fans would ever wish injury on any player, let alone a good kid like Steffy. did most of the fans disagree with Fridge's and Franklin's management of the QB situation, of course. The coaches made a mockery of the process. But for you to insinuate that terp fans in general wished injury upon one of their own in order to get their wish at QB is absurd, unprofessional and indicative of your writing ability.

Posted by: minhle1 | September 28, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Franklin is out of the question...the second he gets the job, he gets the long term contract at the average HC salary of the ACC. Silly term that can never be made into effect because Franklin does not deserve it. I fully expect that Franklin will get bought out of the $1M clause.

Posted by: minhle1 | September 28, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

6-7 wins isn't good enough for me anymore. I'm tired of the irrelevant Champ Sports Bowl appearances. Maryland's recruiting class is currently ranked 36th on Rivals. Unless the recruiting improves, Obrien isn't going to have much talent to grow with him.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 28, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Sir, the year we went to the Champs Sports Bowl we won NINE games and were in contention for the ACC title all the way up to the final game of the regular season. Of the 6 bowls Friedgen has led the Terps to, only 1 was remotely questionable (2007's Emerald Bowl).

Getting tired of all the nonsensical comments posted on this board this season. Are Terps fans really this uninformed about the program? TerpsfanMA is unbearably idiotic ('first coach to cut a future heisman candidate'? Wow. This guy is just making crap up)

Posted by: Barno1 | September 28, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

What kills me about the last few season at Maryland is the lack of creativity in the offense. In the first four season, UMD ran all kinds of crazy formations, misdirection plays and you genuinely believed that they'd win each week. Now it is vanilla, predictable and you hope that Maryland can go .500.

Maybe Charlie Taffe took the magic with him when he left as the OC, maybe Fridge is just that bad a judge of talent - i.e. Chris Kelley, Joel Statham, Sammy 'the Bull' Maldonado; or it could just be that Ralph is a bad coach and doesn't know how to teach boys to become men.

I think Freidgen's time is up... is it too late to get back on the Vand Wagon?

Posted by: rodbestboy | September 28, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

agree with minhle. Franklin WILL get bought out in any case. The $1M is cheaper than promoting him given the play-calling and actual offensive execution over the last two seasons.

I'd like to know what folks would consider the slam-dunk season to KEEP fridge and pay-off Franklin. IF this team wins 8 games or better, RF keeps his job (w/o hesitation), Franklin gets paid to not ascend or leaves.

Thats actually the best case scenario - winning a ton more games than was expected. Even if you hate Fridge, we can't pay him to leave AND pay Franklin. What I fear is 7 wins plus minor bowl appearance as a reason to keep him here. Given the ACC's performance THUS far OOC, there will be diminished bowl revenue to be split this year which will impact MD' finances even if they win out.

That said, I am willing to bet that the Terps win more games than the Skins this year.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | September 28, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Maryland's recruiting class is currently ranked 36th on Rivals. Unless the recruiting improves, Obrien isn't going to have much talent to grow with him"

36th?? That seems pretty good to me for an ACC team that has not done much lately. Boise St is never in the top 20 for recruiting so what does it really mean anyway? Ralph has had his best years when the QB was good. Turner was too erratic and could single handedley lose games. If O'Brien continues to play well and improve this team should stay competitive.

Posted by: critterex | September 28, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

critterex, Ralph had his best years when he was coaching Vanderlinden's recruits. Fact.

Here's my 2 cents, hoping he sticks with O'Brien most of the time and uses Robinson in a wildcat formation, much like Florida is doing with Burton.

Posted by: shanks1 | September 28, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Barno "aka Mrs Fridge"..the players name is Slaton..if you are too young to remember, then look it up before you bare your ignorant name calling for all to see...either way, stop wasting everyones time with your immature rantings

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

TerpfanMA:

Slaton was never offered, because Ralph had offered Morgan Green, when Maryland was Slaton's first choice. He was never "cut". As for wasting everyone's time, look in the mirror.

And the last time I looked, JMU beat Virginia Tech, Temple gave Penn State a run for its money, and Northern Illinois was pretty good when they had Michael "The Burner" Turner (now in the NFL). Maryland shouldn't lose to those teams, but they aren't "cupcakes" either.

Criticism of this program and Ralph's handling of it is valid, but at least use some reason.

Posted by: jbroon | September 28, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, I see I have drawn the ire of the Great Barno I, who wishes to have ado with Sir Pelleas.

There's nothing nonsensical about what I said. It is a matter of my opinion that I am not satisifed with 6-7 win seasons. Barno1, welcome to the U.S. and internet message boards where people are allowed to disagree with you.

Someone said that a 36th ranked recruiting class "seems pretty good." I suppose you can twist this argument to mean that 36th out of 110 is pretty good. Yeah, fine.

But what does it really boil down to? No BCS appareances and one of the worst seasons in Maryland history. How can one say that I'm nonsensical? Is a fact nonsense? Does a 6-7 win season make you competitive for a BCS? Is the Champ Sports Bowl the pinacle to which Maryland football should strive for?

Perhaps the biggest problem with Maryland football is its complacent fanbase, who are willing to settle. Not me. I want more. And there is nothing wrong or nonsensical with that.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 28, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Steve Slaton was a dynamic high school football player and track star in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and he dreamed of attending the nearby University of Maryland. So when the Terrapins came courting the high school tailback, he gladly accepted a scholarship offer to attend the university. Unfortunately for Slaton, and later the Terps, Maryland had over-recruited at the running back position, and the school rescinded their scholarship offer. Waiting in the wings was a West Virginia program whose offense was built upon speed like Slaton’s, and the rest as they say, is history.

Slaton played three years and amassed nearly 5000 yards from scrimmage and 57 touchdowns before taking his talents to the NFL. In his two games against Maryland, Slaton ran for 332 yards and 5 scores.

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Fridge never "cut" Slaton. He was not given a spot on the roster because there was a huge logjam at RB (Josh, Allen, Lance Ball Keon Lattimore, and De'Rell Scott). Fridge did the kid a favor, because Slaton would probably not have become the player he is in Maryland's system, and his limited playing time with the Texans is proof that he is a spread offense RB.

As far as O'Brien. It is refreshing to see a hard working freshman QB get a legitimate shot. However, I don't think this would be happening if Robinson wasn't injured, and the Terps might be sitting at 2-2 right now. Sometimes you have to look at who gives you the best chance to win games, and while Robinson might be a great college-style QB, the system we're running right now does not take advantage of his strengths (hello James Franklin). O'Brien has what it takes to succeed in this modified pro-style offense they're running, and maybe the experience he gains this year will give the Terps a 3 year starter that could be one of the best QBs at Maryland since Scott Milanovich.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Rescinding Slaton's scholarship was a blunder.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 28, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Slaton was offered, the staff offers a lot of players beyond the number of scholarships. It's first come first serve, and Morgan Green was local and highly ranked, so the staff went with Green. Obviously a huge mistake but recruiting isn't a science. Also, I'm not our coaches would have been smart enough to utilize Slaton's talent. We run a pro set that doesn't fit the mold for many of our players.

In the past 6 years, we've only had one decent year (Champs Bowl) and a couple of mediocre year. Overall, Fridge has put a consistly bad football product on the field.

In my view, 6 wins is a total disaster. It shows we are still a poor team and program but may not be enough to buy out the last year and Franklin. Long term, it's terrible because the sooner we can get someone in to energize the program, the better, both from a performance and financial standpoint. We have 19K in season tickets, perhaps as bad as ever, and 30 suites unleased. We are leaving a ton of money on the table each year. the fridge gets $2M a year, the schools poured a ton of $$$ into the program...he is absolutely horrible and in a sense a jerk in the way he won't take accountability. He blames the players and weather. The fans have written him off...he knows it when he sees empty seats everywhere.

Posted by: minhle1 | September 28, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

What this board fails to realize is that without a solid QB, you are doomed to failure in the sport of football. UMd hasn't had a good/great QB since McBrien. It seems like we may have found one in OBrien. Now is it excusable that the staff hasn't been able to recruit a solid QB in those intervening years? No. But, as anyone can see from the NFL draft (see: Ryan Leaf), talent evaluation is an inexact science even at the highest levels. Anyways, my point is: Rejoice! We finally have a legit QB for the next four years!

Posted by: aviscardo | September 28, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Russtinator, my thoughts exactly. There's no guarantee that Slaton would have been the dominant back at Maryland that he was at WVU. And you just can't assume he would have fit in to our schemes the way he did with WVU.

Not to mention we already had Keon Lattimore, Lance Ball, Da'Rel Scott, Allen etc when Slaton's offer was rescinded (not the same as being 'cut', as the unbelievable moron TerpsfanMA has claimed, since he was never a part of the team to begin with).

And I'd still take former WVU qb Scott McBrien over Steve Slaton any day of the week. Considering we had good RBs already in Ball and Lattimore (and Da'Rel Scott) but didn't have a viable option at qb in 2002 or 2003 other than McBrien (Chris Kelly was the backup QB and ended up becoming a safety).

Posted by: Barno1 | September 28, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah well, "cut" "rescind" "not offer spot on roster"..whatever you want to call it, it was a HUGE BLUNDER...the fact is that UMD offered a SCHOLARSHIP to Slaton and he ACCEPTED it...then UMD rescinded the offer, in effect "cutting" him from the squad unless he wanted to try as a walk-on...Instead, UMD gave Slatons scholarship to Melvin Green....Slaton went on to numerous honors at WVU culminating in being a Heismann Trophy finalist in 2006 and 2007....Green ultimately transferred to Towson.....If there has been a bigger personnel blunder at the Div 1 level, I would love to hear it!
Cheers!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Ok Sirpelleas, so you are "tired of irrelevant champs sports bowl appearances." In your world that comment may make perfect sense, but in the real world it is the definition of buffoonery.

The year we went to the Champs Sports Bowl was a great season--we were 5-1 in the ACC at one point and the first team to ever defeat Miami and Florida State in the same year--and we were this close to the ACC title game that year. I was at that bowl game along with thousands of other Maryland fans, had a great time and enjoyed the big win over Purdue. Most Maryland fans got a lot of joy out of that season. Sorry if you didn't, but I guarantee you if we have a repeat of that season this year, most normal Terps fans won't be claiming how tired they are of 9 win seasons with blowouts in December bowl games down in sunny Florida.

Get a clue

Posted by: Barno1 | September 28, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"then UMD rescinded the offer, in effect "cutting" him from the squad unless he wanted to try as a walk-on...Instead, UMD gave Slatons scholarship to Melvin Green"

That's Morgan Green, MORON!

Please get off this stupid platform, because you're just showing your ignorance.

As far as recruiting goes, Fridge has not done the best job getting the best local guys to stay put, but I do see some improvements over the past few years. Perhaps that's because Locksley is being exposed as one of the most overrated coaches/recruiters ever, and Zook has stopped recruiting this area. The areas the Terps have been very good at recruiting are linebackers, wide receivers, and running backs, and if recruiting OL talent (which looks very good in the next class) along with QB and DL talent, this team should be successful. However, recruiting top 25 classes doesn't guarantee anything. Clemson has had 3 or 4 top 5 classes in the past 8 years, and they still haven't been to a BCS bowl.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 28, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

MD is a hoops school not football and never will be. Fridge is fine, Gary is another matter :-)

Posted by: restonhoops | September 28, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

stop wasting everyones time with your immature rantings

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Right, your rantings about the "fat oaf" Fridge are just the kind of mature analyses Terps fans want to read about.

But by all means TerpfanMA keep up your misinformation campaign to smear Friedgen with lies, it's really working!

Posted by: Barno1 | September 28, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Its amazing how many comments this post received, and how cut and dry the situation. MD beat Morgan State and Florida's Irrelevent University (FIU). Now the marketing maching is promoting DUKE as "Rivalry" week. Maybe in soccer or Lax, but football!?! A successful football program looks at this year's schedule and thinks 10-2 at worst!

Posted by: hurtinterpfan | September 28, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Go back and read my post Barno/jbroon...if there is a lie in there, I'd love to hear it...seems to me you dont have any comments on the article, you just call people names who say what you dont want to hear...why dont you go visit the Redskins boards, they can use someone like you...as for my opinions, I stand by everything I said...

Cheers

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Rusty: How do you feel knowing that Fridge keeps calling his QB Jamal?...now that is really showcasing ignorance

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Barno1,

Get a clue?

Fact: 6-7 win seasons do not lead to BCS appearances or even a truly lofty Champ Sports Bowl.

Fact: The Champ Sports Bowl is not a BCS, so it should NOT be aggrandized as such a major accomplishment.

Fact: Last year was one of the worst football seasons in Maryland history, so the 9 win season is irrelevant at this point. If we posted back-to-back 9-win seasons, I wouldn't be arguing with you about this.

If we get 9 wins this year, great, but it's not enough to keep me satisfied. I want more, a lot more. Barno, if you're satisfied (which I believe you will be because you obviously settle for mediocrity), fine. To each his own, I guess.

Like I said, perhaps the biggest problem with Maryland football are the complacent fans, who are willing to settle for more Champ Sports Bowls or other meaningless bowl games. Or perhaps an even bigger problem are those that continue to drown a mediocre program with irrational praise.

Fact: This program needs a lot of improvement if it will be competitive for a BCS bid.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Very well said and accurate SirP

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

FACT: Ralph Friedgen's teams have gone 64-36 FACT: the three previous Terps coaches went a combined 45-98.
FACT: Friedgen has a .640 winning percentage as coach
FACT: The previous 3 coaches went .360 over 13 years.
FACT: Since Fridge took over we have gone to 6 bowls including several major bowls, and gone 4-2 in those games including Fridge's teams winning 4 out of the last 5 w/ a combined score of 151-73 favoring MARYLAND.
FACT: Before Fridge got here, Maryland had been to just 1 bowl in the previous 15 years, and had won just 4 of their last 14 bowl appearances.
FACT: Maryland has more players in the NFL in the Friedgen era than any school that was a part of the ACC when he arrived in 2001 (including Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, and NC State)
FACT: Attendance has skyrocketed since Friedgen's arrival, with 20 of the top 25 crowds in Byrd Stadium history occurring on his watch.
FACT: The Terps stadium has been totally revamped with a $50,000,000 expansion thanks to Fridge's success
FACT: Thanks to Friedgen's success, the field naming rights sold for $20,000,000

Oh what a disaster he has been for the program. Man I wish Ron Vanderlinden was still here, those were the days!

Posted by: Barno1 | September 28, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Wujciak, in talking about O'Brien in practice-'we couldn't stop him'. Well Alex, except for a small time football program like Morgan St., the defense hasn't stopped anybody..Look at the numbers.. YEAH, YEAH, some of you will say the numbers say 3-1, but that doesn't represent how they've played. Let's see what happens vs. the ACC..Going to a bowl game doesn't matter when almost everyone who is 6-6 goes to one..

Posted by: frostanna | September 28, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Barno: Dude..all those coaches you are comparing Fridge too were FIRED because they SUCKED! You want to make the argument that Fridge sucks a little less then go right ahead...BTW, before you start boasting about attendance, you may want to read Prisbells newest article! Its posted right next to this one!!! I am sure even you can find it...

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

How many Terps coaches have every won the consensus National Coach of the Year? yeah, Fridge really can't coach....hah

Posted by: Barno1 | September 28, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Fridge, in a twist of irony, is actually still on the job as a result of his poor showing over the last 6 years....its a fact that only the drop in football revenue (due to a slumping program) prevented Yow (who knows him better than anyone posting here) from gasbaggin his fat butt at the end of the year...

Oh and by the way, BOTH Gary Williams and Brenda Frese have won National Coach of the Year honors...the difference is that they both fielded extremely competitive teams post award......I am pretty sure I remember Fridge even admitting in the paper that he got complacent after one of the 9 or 10 win seasons earlier in the decade

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow...Russ laid down a smackdown...have not seen that before.

If the team wins out and makes the BCS, would SirPelleas, Carolina, and TerpfanMA be satisfied with Fridge? Just asking.

On a similar note, does GW need to make the FF this year to justify his existence?

And finally, with so many Terps in the pros, shouldn't our on-field FB results be better?

My gut tells me that we are more likely to return to being a consistently ranked team with fridge than without him. Franklin has to go if anything. But I understand the criticisms. The program needs some statement wins this year. Given the state of the ACC, it just might happen.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | September 28, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

If the team wins out and makes the BCS, would SirPelleas, Carolina, and TerpfanMA be satisfied with Fridge? Just asking.
________________________________________

I am looking for a Top 20 Competitive program..dont have to win every game but we should be "in" every game...A Top 20 team would look at this years sched and see a 10-2 season...from where I sit, we are nowhere close and havent been since 2003 (yes, I realize we have won 8 or 9 games post but it has been because of scheduling Temple, Delware, Morgan State, Middle Tenn, East Mich etc (and we havent won all of those))

On a similar note, does GW need to make the FF this year to justify his existence?

__________________________________________

No Way! I have all the respect/admiration in the world for Gary..he is a fighter and we COMPETE EVERY SINGLE GAME! If we have a season where we win 2/12 games it may be a different story (that would be what, a 4 win season)...Not gonna happen on Garys watch!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Football is the glaring exception in recent UMD Athletics:
Mens Basketball: NCAA Champs
Mens Soccer: NCAA Champs
Womens BBall: NCAA Champs
Womens Soccer: NCAA Champs
Womens FieldHockey: NCAA Champs
Mens Lax: Consistent Top 10 team

Peace Out!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | September 28, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Leading up to this year, Ralph was 35-38 in the last 6 years..His 1st three years make his record look good..Attendence has dropped in the last few years.. Maryland has spent $$$$ on what Ralph wanted for 'his' program.. Have we really got a return on the $$$$ spent????

Posted by: frostanna | September 28, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

HughGRection - to answer your question, yes, absolutely. If the Fridge makes the BCS this year, then he will accomplish exactly what I've been longing for since his first 3 years. Is it unreasonable to strive for such things or have high expectations? I don't think so. Let's face it: this program is in a precarious situation, no matter how you slice the pie.

I'm done with this thread.

Posted by: SirPelleas | September 28, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

It's time for Ralph to retire. He had a good run. Make room for the next head coach - Franklin or whomever (preferably a Maryland alum).

Posted by: shangps | September 28, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Ray Lewis is a Maryland alum. I'd like to see him start off by first coaching the defense when he finally retires.

Posted by: Terps85 | September 29, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Terps85 -

Ray Lewis went to Miami I think. Certainly not MD. JJ Lewis, who was also on the Ravens SB team, went to MD.

Frostanna - We can't discount the first three years; they were an important slice of MD FB history and include our only BCS appearance. building from scratch is harder than fixing what has been ailing the team.

I believe the consensus is that Franklin is part of the problem. Certainly some decisions have been suspect this year and last season. JF will be paid his $1M. RF will be here next year as the goal of 7 wins seems entirely achievable at this point of the season. So the best hope is at least 8 wins, which would re-establish the program as competitive in the ACC. 9 or 10 and we are a threat to play in the ACC championship.

So I am looking forward to the results of the season at hand; the results needed will not occur without improved play across the board from the team. They are capable of it; certainly they have more than one future pro on the team.

I would also like to see a consistently ranked team that regularly wins 10 games a season. Right now, I believe that RF is our best chance of getting there versus door #2.

Regards-

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | September 29, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I think Friedgen and staff have done a pretty good job as coaches, when the W/L record and bowl appearances are counted. But the real decline seems to be in recruiting, and we have seen that in the W/L record.

Friedgen and staff did their best with the talent on hand from the previous regime. Now that we have been through a full cycle with their recruits, we are not a better team. So like any football program that wants to succeed consistently, you need recruiting and coaching talent. The evidence suggests both do not exist with Friedgen and staff.

Posted by: gavinjs | September 29, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hugh, Ray Lewis got his degree from UMD.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

As much as I love Ray Lewis, and Barno points out his connections to Maryland (in addition to his cousin, Keon Lattimore being a former Terp), he has ZERO coaching experience, and would be one of the worst college coaching hires in recent memory.

If somehow Fridge cannot get this team to a bowl and hold onto his job for the final season of his current contract, and Franklin is bought out, the ONLY coach I would want at this point is Mike Leach. Perhaps other candidates would come forward, but this program is at a point where it needs a "splashy" hire to generate excitement for the program, or we're right back to the Duffner/Vanderlindin era of Maryland football.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 29, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Russ, I am pretty sure Ralph has another year left on his contract after this year. But I can't imagine at this point the Terps won't get to a bowl. Not with O'Brien now playing and all our playmakers on offense. Here is one scenario:

navy W
morgan st W
wvu L
FIU W
duke W
@clemson L
@boston college L
wake forest W
@miami L
@virginia W
florida st L
nc state W

That would 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. A bowl win (we know how Fridge gets his teams up for bowl games) and we'd have an 8 win season. No one is saying that would be the greatest season ever, but if the haters wouldn't get any enjoyment out of that kind of year this year--and if the haters can't be satisfied with 7-8 wins with as young a team as we currently have--then perhaps they should just find something else to do with their time than following sports. I for one would really enjoy a 7 or 8 win season this year.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 29, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The NC State game is the one that worries me. I see that game as a loss right now with the 'Pack finally buying into O'Brien's scheme, and Russell Wilson might be a darkhorse for ACC POY over Ponder and Harris.

I think I did mention that Fridge has another year, and Franklin has another year before he either gets the job or gets paid. I do see this team going in the right direction, and with so many underclassmen at key positions, the Terps would likely have very high expectation for next year assuming there is not a coaching change. The major players that are seniors are:

Baltz
Cannon
Gloster
Moten
Perez
Pinegar
Scott
Wujciak

That's 4 contributers on defense (3 starters with Perez as a key player), 3 starters on offense with solid backups for each, and a potential all-ACC kicker. Torey Smith could pull a Hey-Bey, and bolt for the draft, but there are some talented receivers in the pipeline Next year is looking like "the year" for this team, and with a schedule that could put the Terps on the National map with Notre Dame at Fed Ex, Towson, Temple, WVU, Miami, BC, UVA, and Clemson at home, and GaTech, Wake, NC State, and FSU on the road, if Fridge is still here, it could be one incredible ride. Anyone complaining about attendance next year will be eating crow next season, regardless of whose coaching this team.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Great points all the way around Russtinator. Personally, I think Torrey Smith is gone after this year but I pray I am wrong. I think he's already a better receiver/playmaker than DHB ever was, and I think he will have a better pro career whether he's drafted early or not.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 29, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Smith needs to run better routes to make it in the NFL. Per normal for Terps, if he elects to go to the combine, he will record a ridiculous 40 time (I'd really like to know who they're using to train guys for the 40), and get drafted high based on potential, but I think he would be better served with another year in a pro-style offense, assuming there's no coaching change. It's hard to argue with DHB bolting and going top 5, but his NFL career might have gotten started off a little better if he had another year of seasoning, and didn't get drafted by the Raiders. Smith may be in the same position, and while it's nice to see Terps go in the first round, I'd rather see them putting up big numbers on Sundays.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 29, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

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