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Posted at 7:57 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Maryland and the clouded ACC bowl picture

By Eric Prisbell

Three big developments --- Maryland’s win, Clemson’s loss and Miami’s firing – altered the ACC bowl landscape, creating more uncertainty as we head into the final week before bowl announcements are made Sunday. Maryland fans have some hope of playing in a bowl game away from home. In whatever order, the three most likely destinations are Military Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Car Care Bowl. (I booked a hotel in Orlando just in case.) The situation remains fluid and is likely to change a number of times amid back-room discussions in the coming days. Ralph Friedgen is trying like heck to get his team in the best possible game.

Here is my story on the clouded picture from today’s newspaper.

(I have a post coming in an hour on Ralph Friedgen and the ACC coach of the year race.)

By Eric Prisbell  | November 29, 2010; 7:57 AM ET
Categories:  Football, Ralph Friedgen  
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Next: Maryland's Ralph Friedgen and the ACC coach of the year race

Comments

90+ comments on EP's last post. More insinuating that we go to RFK. I suspect we'll have a long string on this one as well.

Looking forward to the post on COY. RF deserves it, or at least to be in the running for it.

I shudder to think at how the season may have played out if J-Rob had not gotten injured. To be fair, there was no way to predict that DOB would be so successful.

Kudos to the coaching staff for preparing DOB well during his RS year and spring practices. More kudos for the coaching staff for utilizing T. Smith (despite injury) which was not the case for DHB for his final season. The future looks bright.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | November 29, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The Gruden to Miami rumor mill seems to be going against it happening and if so my inside source has lost some credibility. Now that may not be true for me since I don't have much credibility with many of you anyway!

Here is what I posted last night:

"Make no mistake - we expect to be successful in everything that we do. We are proud of our success in the classroom, highlighted by our recent Top 10 ranking in the Graduation Success Rate scores. We are very proud of this group of young men and how they represent on campus and in the community and we expect to compete for championships. We will not compromise on winning. Because of these expectations, a decision was made last night to change the leadership of the football program. I made the decision last night after consulting with President [Donna] Shalala and the chair of the athletic advisory committee for the Board of Trustees. They supported my decision."

These are the words of Miami Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt at his press conference today regarding the fring of Randy Shannon. Oh!!!! ... if only these words would be uttered and meant by our AD.

And here is the latest: Jon Gruden is in as the new head coach at Miami. His contract is done. He signs it tomorrow. He does not do MNF tomorrow night. The press conference announcing his hire is Tuesday. Word is that the Canes were after Ralph Friedgen, but he was unavailable..

Posted by: petecard | November 28, 2010 9:48 PM

Here is another tidbit from the Miami AD:

"When asked Sunday if money would be an issue in hiring a coach, UM athletic director Kirby Hocutt said: ``It will not. We will do whatever it takes to get back to the top of the college football world. And we are going to find the best individual in this country to come in and lead this talented group of young men and lead this program back to where it belongs . . . at the pinnacle of the college football world.''

Now THAT is what I would like Anderson to say! Although in Maryland's case it wouldn't be "back" to the top unless we are talking about a 50-60 year lapse...

Posted by: petecard | November 29, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I just cannot see Pitt-MD. Pitt brought 4000 fans to charlotte last year and it contributed to the smallest car care bowl attendance...and that's with UNC. Md will likely bring 10-15K to Charlotte and that's not enough to compensate for a shortfall from Pitt. not sure if WVU is still a consideration for them but they would take that match-up in a heart beat. that would be a good crowd.

Posted by: minhle1 | November 29, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

For the life of me, I just can't figure you out Petecard. What is the point of your above post?

Why can't you enjoy the fact that after a 2-10 season the Terps turned it around and were in the the thick of the ACC race with 2 weeks to go?

This season the Terps found depth at O-Line, a QB that is a winner and has 3 years left, and a DC that the defense playing with intensity and physicality.

But that ain't enough for you. If the Terps lay an egg next year then, I will be right along with you, when if comes to making a HC change. Right now though, I'm going to enjoy a solid rebound season for the Terps and future that looks bright.

Might I suggest that you do the same...for once?

Posted by: Section505203 | November 29, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Section, I am not suggesting a head coaching change and I have stated multiple times the decision to bring Ralph back next year is certainly correct. What I am pointing out is the commitment of Miami to winning and competing for National Championships. They made a very tough decision to fire one of their favorite sons because he wasn't getting it done. But my point is that they clearly are committed in a way that we just are not. Wanting to win and wanting to be in the upper echelon of our conference is much different than making a commitment to national prominence. They may not get there for a while, but the know what their goal is.

Posted by: petecard | November 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I am enjoying where we are and our turn around this year. Looking forward to winning a bowl game and to a really good season next year...

I won't turn the hoopla over which bowl we are going to into an ongoing rant about Miami... I promise.

Posted by: petecard | November 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

This program and team are probably not even worth a post on this blog.

We are truly mired in a state that is worse the mediocrity.

Posted by: petecard | September 19, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I am enjoying where we are and our turn around this year. Looking forward to winning a bowl game and to a really good season next year...

Posted by: petecard | November 29, 2010 10:56 AM

Posted by: Barno1 | November 29, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I am not suggesting a head coaching change and I have stated multiple times the decision to bring Ralph back next year is certainly correct.

Posted by: petecard | November 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

we don't have much of a team and we are unlikely to win more than a couple of games the rest of the way. We need a NEW coach

Posted by: petecard | October 16, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The football program is in a bad place and is not going to rise up without a coaching change

Posted by: petecard | October 19, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I am a big supporter of the Fridge. He has done a very good and consistent job and he does it at a place that has a real disadvantage in football, mostly because prep football is just not that great in the heart of the maryland recruiting area and we will never compete nationally for the best players.

Posted by: petecard | July 30, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I have the intellect to change my assessment as performance changes and time goes by. Rather than pointing out the obvious about Ralph's performance and bore everyone, I will simply point out that the football program ain't going anywhere.

Posted by: petecard | October 19, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Barno1 | November 29, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

dude just talks out of his rear end because he doesn't know how to be objective or considers the big picture.

"If we cannot be USC or Miami, I will hate everything about the program." not a very reasonable approach to life.

Posted by: minhle1 | November 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Barno, you are the worst, the Joe McCarthy commie-hunter of Terps Insider. With you as with there's no such thing as someone's opinion evolving over time. "In my hand I hold a list of 205 anti-Friedgen posts made by petecard and TerpsFanMA over the course of a year." I bet Ralph's really glad to have someone like you in his corner.

Posted by: caphillterp | November 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for finally putting some meat on the bones of your comments Prisbell and also realizing just how much things changed on Saturday night.

But here's my question for you, the Pac-10 has six bowl slots and will need Washington to beat Washington State and Oregon State to beat Oregon this weekend to get five teams Bowl Eligible. They currently only have three teams Bowl Eligible.

Many figure that Washington will beat Washington State but Oregon State will not upset Oregon. (These are rivalry games so who knows what will actually happen.) Stanford is also projected to land in the BCS (assuming Oregon beats OR St. and goes to the Title Game).

But no matter what, the Pac-10 unable to fill all of their bowl slots. (Max of five teams eligble for six slots) Now, the ACC has nine teams eligible and only 8 slots. The ACC won't be getting two BCS slots so somebody is going to be left out of the ACC bowl picture. The ACC obviously can't fill the Sun Bowl slot for the Pac-10 but lets say that the hose comes out and Maryland ends up being offered the Military Bowl. Could Maryland decide to take one of the Pac-10 slots, like say the Las Vegas Bowl, instead or does Maryland have to accept an invitation from an ACC Bowl Partner no matter which one it is?

Posted by: CapsNut | November 29, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Pete,
Why not just admit you were wrong in wanting both Fridge and Gary fired?

Posted by: aviscardo | November 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

We won't be playing Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl because that matchup is happening in 2011 at the beginning of the year. It would present an interesting scenario in that we would play back-to-back games against Notre Dame which I don't know if that has happened ever. It's Charlotte or DC in my opinion and I think there is going to be a very big shake up and no one is going to go where they are currently making projections. There are too many options and it also depends on the teams they'll be going up against.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | November 29, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

With you as with there's no such thing as someone's opinion evolving over time.

Posted by: caphillterp | November 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh how shocking reading this comment from caphillterp, given that this is the same caphillterp who repeatedly demanded earlier this season:

"it's time for Fridge to go." -caphillterp

Hilarious reading caphillterp now argue that there's no such thing as a fairweather fan, and if you think differently you are a "Joe McCarthy commie-hunter." Uhhhh, ok, you're not a hypocrite at all with that statement.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 29, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

#1. The Bowl games don't care about your schedule coming up next season. They only care about their game.

#2. The Maryland-Notre Dame Game @ FedEx Field is November 12th, 2011 not exactly the start of the season...

Posted by: CapsNut | November 29, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

There are plenty of us close to College Park who think that Fatso's gravy train has left the station. I'm not sure what the rest of you fools are thinking. There isn't one compelling argument to make for keeping him around after this year. We're lucky to be 3-1 right now. Navy (whether they're top-caliber or not) destroyed us and should have won that game. We should all be very worried about the potential indignity of losing to Duke.

Posted by: caphillterp | September 30, 2010 5:23 PM

This loser has the nerve to come back on this site after the above comments and lecture us about there being no such thing as a fairweather fan...explaining to the real fans that it's just about "opinion evolving over time."

Gee, I wonder if caphillterp's opinion has evolved over time this season, or if still ridiculously believes "there isn't ONE compelling argument to bring Fridge back next year." Hahaha, what a moron.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 29, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

caphill, your immature characterizations of Friedgen aside (I also want him and Franklin out by the end of the contract), Petecard has not changed his analysis of the team-where did you get that assessment. He's conceding begrdugingly that the team's improved and yet still being debbie downer. He's trying save face-lol at you for thinking he has some developing analysis of the program and team.

Posted by: minhle1 | November 29, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

My fault on the dates. If my may back track and say the Champs Sports is back in the mix. I think the Car Care Bowl is the most likely destination. And I think Miami falls out of the mix. They won't have a following especially without a head coach. Georgia Tech would be my second choice to fall through.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | November 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Barno - the only person I'm lecturing is you, with your cut-and-paste vendetta against anyone with whom you disagree. And you illustrated my point to a T. You are a dolt and an apologist for mediocrity. God help the Terps if you're what passes for a "real fan".

Fatso has performed this year and deserves to finish out his contract. He does not deserve an extension until there is some evidence that the culture of .500 that has plagued UMd football for the last half of the decade has changed.

Franklin is nothing more than a glorified high school play caller and should be put out to pasture. Barno - agree?

Posted by: caphillterp | November 29, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Agree on Franklin. Disagree that I'm an apologist for mediocrity because I don't think 8 or 9 wins is mediocre. We are 2 spots outside the Top 25, according to both major polls. With a win in our bowl game we are likely to finish the season ranked. Again, how is this mediocre? Again, how is this being an apologist for mediocrity? Again, why can't you admit that you were wrong when you said there is no reason to bring Fridge back next year?

Posted by: Barno1 | November 29, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

At the time of that post, there was no reason to bring Fridge back. Had the team kept performing at the level it was through four games, there's no way it would have gotten to 8-4. That WVU game was horrific and you know it. But I'll admit that he and this team stepped up and performed better than I thought they would - and for that he deserves the final year of his contract. I'm still not enamored of the job he's done since 2005 but will concede that this year was a step in the right direction.

Here's the thing re: mediocrity. I don't think that 8 or 9 wins and a brush with the Top 25 is mediocre either. I'm satisfied with this season. But I also don't think it's too much to expect this kind of a year to be an average year for us, with an ACC championship/BCS bowl sprinkled in a few times a decade. You, on the other hand, would be happy with 6 wins and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. I bet you are over the moon for an 8-4 record and the fact that we're sitting juuuust outside the Top 25. That's what makes you an apologist for mediocrity - and it's unfortunate that the #1 Terps fan (you) is all kitty cats and candy canes over the fact that we're still looking up at at 25% of the 109 schools that play D-1 football.

Posted by: caphillterp | November 29, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"You, on the other hand, would be happy with 6 wins and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl."

You are insane dude.

That is all, carry on.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 29, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

But I also don't think it's too much to expect this kind of a year to be an average year for us

Posted by: caphillterp | November 29, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Funny you should say this caphill. Let's examine this a little further shall we?

If you take away Fridge's best 3 seasons and his worst 3 seasons, what you are left with is 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010. Let's break down those 4 seasons to see what an "average" season at MD under Fridge has looked like:

2006.

Sam Hollenbach's senior year. Terps were in first place in our division for most of the year, became the only team to beat FSU and Miami in same year, and had they won their season finale, Terps would have gone on to the ACC Championship game against Gtech--a team they almost beat on the road earlier in the season. Ended season with 9 wins and a blowout win in the sunny Florida Citrus bowl game in a late December.

2007

With Hollenbach gone, and an injuries all over the O-line, it was a rebuilding year. After meltdown loss at Wake to start the ACC season, Terps rebounded to win 3x over top 25 teams, included 2 over top 10 teams. Needing to win finale at NC State to become bowl eligible, the Terps dominated in a 37-0 blowout. Season ended in an Emerald bowl loss to Oregon State.

2008

With an experience O-line and an experienced QB in Chris Turner, the Terps again led their division for much of the season and looked headed to the ACC Championship game until their home finale loss vs a hot Florida State team. Season ended by putting up 42 points on Nevada and winning the Humanitarian Bowl.

2010:

With an inexperienced offensive line comprised of mostly freshman and sophomores and an inexperienced freshman qb, Friedgen led the team to within 1 game of the ACC title game. An 8-4 regular season record and a good chance for a solid bowl appearance and a 9th win.

To recap, these were the "average" years in the Fridge tenure...and most sane Terps fans got plenty enjoyment out of those seasons. So take away Fridge's best seasons (2001-2003) and the worst (2004, 2005, 2009) and the middle ground seasons were still some pretty exciting years for Terps fans.

Even in "average" seasons under Coach Friedgen, MD has contended for the ACC title.

Coach Stays.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 29, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

EP, Please give me one reason why Maryland would fall all the way to the 8th bowl slot in the ACC, and go to the Military Bowl.. Yes, the bowl itself would like to have the local team.. And with the way you are pushing this in your blogs, you must get part of the gate.. But SERIOUSLY, if the Terps fall all the way to the Military Bowl, something is wrong.. I'm still planning on Nashville or Charlotte.. Go Terps !!!!

Posted by: frostanna | November 29, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Prisbell is under this delusion that Maryland doesn't travel well and all other qualifying ACC teams do. Really? VA Tech? Certainly. Clemson, yes. Miami? They can't even half fill their own stadium! BC? C'mon. The others are about as likely to bring as many fans as the Terps are.

Eric, have you actually asked any of these bowl officials if the Terps travel well, or are you assuming all this? Post a quote from some of these bowl officials and I'll agree with you. Until then, it's just your opinion. With an 8-4 record, are you now willing to admit that maybe the Terps can land a better bowl than the Military, which you have been relegating them to for a couple weeks now. I'd love to see you proven wrong. Of course you won't admit that, but it'd still be sweet.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | November 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

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