Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: TerpsInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 6:43 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

N.C. State Coach O'Brien: 'We have fans'

By Eric Prisbell

Thanks so much for the hundreds of emails. Please, keep them coming: prisbelle@washpost.com.

I’m going to post the link to this radio interview from 99.9 The Fan in North Carolina. I’m also going to transcribe a portion that pertains to why North Carolina State Coach Tom O’Brien feels the Wolfpack was invited to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla. It is difficult to make out every word precisely because the radio hosts are giggling. If you choose to listen, start at the two-minute mark.

Host: Of course there is some grumbling [by other programs] about that location, but it’s kind of a testament to the season you’ve had, your players and of course your fans, who would be more than happy to show up.

O’Brien: Yeah, but why would you grumble about going to Disney World?

Host: I’m saying that others would be grumbling that they are not going to Disney World.

O’Brien: Geez, that’s too bad. We’ve earned it.

[hosts laugh]

O’Brien: We have fans.

[hosts laugh]

Host: I think Maryland’s new athletic director wants an explanation on how the whole process works. I didn’t think it was really that complicated.

O’Brien: No, it isn’t. You have to sell tickets. That’s No. 1. You have to have a football team that’s representative and can cause some excitement. One of the things I think was important to this bowl committee was that we went to Orlando and beat Central Florida, who won 10 games and won their conference. And we beat Florida State. So two of the local teams that everybody knows about, we were able to win. You look at teams with top 30 wins. We were 1-1. Virginia Tech was 2-1. And everybody else in our conference had a losing record against top 30 teams.

[At the 5:45 mark, the host revisits the issue -- and gets a pretty good answer --- when he asks O’Brien about his days at Boston College and the challenge of, well, getting snubbed in the bowl selection process – and how difficult it is to then get a team to play hard in a bowl game after the snub.]

O’Brien: Well, it’s awful difficult. And trying to find a reason to go play a football game, that was always the biggest challenge. I still, to this day, in all my games that I have coached, one of the biggest wins that I’ve ever had was going to Boise State, playing Boise State at their place, in a bowl game, when we tied for the Atlantic Division conference lead our first year. It was like, ‘Okay, welcome to the league. You were 5-3. Florida State goes to the championship game. And – oh, by the way -- you were the ninth team, you’re going to Boise against a really good football team.' And we ended up winning.

By Eric Prisbell  | December 7, 2010; 6:43 AM ET
Categories:  Football, Ralph Friedgen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Maryland CB McDougle to miss bowl game after scooter accident
Next: James Franklin a 'more serious' candidate for Vanderbilt job

Comments

Really can't argue with what O'Brien said...Like Ralph said, 'it is what it is', and Terps fans didn't show at Byrd this year.. We would travel, have in the past, that's a fact, but the perception with this year's attendence at home, says we don't care..'IT IS WHAT IT IS ' !!!! GO TERPS !!!! See ya at RFK...

Posted by: frostanna | December 7, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The views/comments of O'Brien are not surprising. This is a coach who got praised for his work at BC and had his pick of college jobs, including ND. That he picked a middle of the road ACC program says volumes about his judgement. In fact, before this season began, he was one of those considered "on the bubble" as far as job security went. So what he says or thinks equals a great big zero to me.

Posted by: fellowfan | December 7, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Agree with O'Brien and frostanna. The Terps were 2-10 last year and looked terrible in compiling the record. That they were 8-4 this year obscured several issues: 1) fans remembered the 2-10 season from 2009; 2) the home schedule this year featured relatively non-competitive teams, except for Florida State, which was well-attended, and the finale against N.C. State, which was during Thanksgiving break with the students away; 3) the coaching staff made errors in game preparation, game management, personnel management, play calling, clock management, or combinations of all of these, in the four losses. Given all this, it was not surprising that the seats around me in Byrd Stadium were not nearly as full as in previous years.

With the expected progression of Danny O'Brien at quarterback next season, a more interesting slate of home games, and a hopeful improvement in other areas of the team, the fans will return.

Posted by: 74umgrad1 | December 7, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

NC State: We have fans

Maryland: We can read

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The bowl system is what it is, but I do have to say something.

NC State seems to have "a ton of fans" for both basketball and football..but in the last 20 or so years(since the Jim Valvano basketball team)...NC State never has won anything or made a BCS bowl game. I think there is another school around here (ahem) who has.

Hmm, since NC State and their fans always think they are better than they are, maybe their AD is really Dan Snyder.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 7, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Again, even though we whooped them on the field, it's not unreasonable that the bowl committee chose State. We came off a 2-10 season. We had a weak home schedule. And, we have two NFL teams within 30 miles of campus. Throw in NC State having two nationally televised Thursday night games and those are the reasons that State drew better than us this year. Nothing more.

Also, I think our new AD had an eye opening experience. He got schooled.

With that said, my gripe is that the Terps then fell from 3rd to 8th. That is a clear indication that the current bowl system is broken.

Let's get through this bowl game, but as for next year, we have some improved faith in Friedgen and his staff. We have a rather strong home schedule, coming off a solid performance this year. And, we have the best Maryland quarterback since probably Esiason, certainly Reich.

If people don't show up next year, then even I will agree that something is wrong. But not now. I still contend we travel every bit as well, even better, than NC State.

Posted by: steven09 | December 7, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Steven09 -

we did not whip them on the field. We beat them by 7. We WERE whipping them all over the field, but thats not the way the game ended. If we had beaten them by 21 or 14, our indignation would carry a lot more deserved righteousness or more likely, we'd be going to the bowl game that they are and they would be playing in RFK.

Then again, if we had beaten Miami we would have been playing last weekend.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | December 7, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Also, I think our new AD had an eye opening experience. He got schooled.

Posted by: steven09 | December 7, 2010 9:40 AM

The fish (season tickets) had largely been sold (unsold) when Anderson started in College Park in September. He had no power over the terrible home schedule, 2-10 record last season, Fridge Indecision 2009, etc. Did you really want him to argue his way into a better bowl? I think the notion of AD's getting schools into bowls is overblown. Let's see what Anderson can do in 2011 to get more people into Byrd.

Oh and he has some work to do to get people into the Comcast Center for games other than Duke and Carolina. 5 packs on sale now!

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

As a Navy fan, gotta tell you -- at least you're not stuck replaying a regular season game. We had the tie in to the inaugural Eagle Bank bowl a couple of years ago, and I think most folks thought that was copacetic until Wake Forest got selected as our opponent -- that killed off a ton of interest. I think I ended up buying tickets and donating them to a servicemember instead of going to the game. Would have loved to have played you guys then, but oh well. Sure, kind of stinks for the players, but in many ways makes it easier for alums in the area.
Oh, and if you think that things will get better with K. Anderson as your AD ... well, he was pretty much responsible for driving Army's football program into the ground. Good luck with that!

Posted by: dougb95 | December 7, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

...I would also add a couple of things to the win vs NCState (and I am not saying this to take anything away from the victory)...the game actually was pretty close...being in Boston, I watched the game on TV

1) Probably should have been a Pass Interference call on MD on the play where the ball was deflected/intercepted by MD and returned to the 5 yard line..the defender already had his arms wrapped around the receiver which is why the ball bounced off his chest

2) No way MD made the last first down on 4th and 1 at the end of the game...we didnt even get back to the LOS


All in all, a great win for us but as you said, not a whupping by any means

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 7, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and if you think that things will get better with K. Anderson as your AD ... well, he was pretty much responsible for driving Army's football program into the ground. Good luck with that!

Posted by: dougb95 | December 7, 2010 10:34 AM

He drove a program - that won four games total in the four seasons *before* he got there - into the ground? Army's been terrible for almost 15 years, I'm pretty sure more than one AD had a hand in that.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

How does Tom O'Brien know they have a following when I don't even think they've been to one bowl game under him? Then again I think they may have gone to a small bowl game just as he was transitioning into the role but I don't think that was under his regime but I'm sure they didn't have 10 or 15K following them to the toilet bowl.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | December 7, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

An exciting young football team with some serious talent can't draw 40k for a game? Nobody, and I mean nobody, should cry for having to be stuck with the Military Bowl. Look at it from the selection process perspective. Their job is to fill their bowls as close to capacity as possible and if the Terps, with a young and exciting team can't even come close to filling their own stadium, how can it be expected they're going to travel and help sell out a bowl game? Not going to happen. Terps fans, you reap what you sow.

Posted by: rich20ssu | December 7, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

P.S. Don't cite home attendance figures again. That has NOTHING to do with "travel"

Posted by: smitch6087 December 6, 2010 9:53 PM

From a previous thread, it seems a lot of people can't comprehend this. For some reason many aren't able to distinguish between those that go to Byrd and those that go to a bowl game. They are not one and the same. Based on those I've spoken with, there were a TON of people planning on going to wherever we ended up in a bowl game--and many of those folks never stepped foot in Byrd this year.

The undeniable fact is MD always "travels well."

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

He drove a program - that won four games total in the four seasons *before* he got there - into the ground? Army's been terrible for almost 15 years, I'm pretty sure more than one AD had a hand in that.

Fair enough. But -- "kev29" -- if you think Kevin Anderson's an improvement, prepare to be surprised. I hope he proves me wrong, a number of my coworkers are Maryland fans and I enjoy watching 'em play ...

Posted by: dougb95 | December 7, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Terp fans should have no complaints. Our program has been a mess lately and this year is the first sign of heading back to where we were when the Fridge first got here. Our attendance blows. If we had averaged 10K more at Byrd, we'd be fighting over the best seats in Orlando right now.

Posted by: shanks1 | December 7, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough. But -- "kev29" -- if you think Kevin Anderson's an improvement, prepare to be surprised. I hope he proves me wrong, a number of my coworkers are Maryland fans and I enjoy watching 'em play ...

Posted by: dougb95 | December 7, 2010 12:01 PM

I never said that he was an improvement - though it was certainly time for Yow to go. I just said it seems clear he was not personally responsible for a chronically evaporating football program's downfall. Give him a couple years - he'll be judged on his results in College Park.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, folks, too many of you are conceding that it's okay to select teams based on attendance (or other factors, such as TV appeal presumably in Miami's case) rather than on-field performance.

Should the NCAA tournament start seeding basketball teams based on attendance? Maryland would probably do pretty well there. Or how about TV appeal? Should they go ahead and draw up brackets right now with UNC and Duke as top seeds, regardless of what happens during the season?

The attendance argument is BS.

Posted by: SmittyATL | December 7, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, when an "exciting young football team" is being constantly pilloried for "not having beaten anybody," what does one expect in terms of "excitement"???

Posted by: CapsNut | December 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The attendance argument is not BS. The Bowl system exists to make money. If you cannot make the money, you don't get invited.

Having grown up in Raleigh and lived here for 15 years or so, I know that this town is not going to get behind a college football team like they do down there. It's a traditional part of life there to go to college games. Here, it's simply not. This area in general is pretty fickle about sports teams, with the Redskins perhaps excepted.

Posted by: Maximus3 | December 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The attendance argument is not BS. The Bowl system exists to make money. If you cannot make the money, you don't get invited.

Having grown up in Raleigh and lived here for 15 years or so, I know that this town is not going to get behind a college football team like they do down there. It's a traditional part of life there to go to college games. Here, it's simply not. This area in general is pretty fickle about sports teams, with the Redskins perhaps excepted.

Posted by: Maximus3 | December 7, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

HGR.....I realize the final score. Was there close up. With all due respect, I have been following your posts and like your general point of view, but we whooped them. Danny threw for 417 yards. The 15 yard penalty, the on-side kick, made the score much closer than the game really was. No NC State fans remained in the stadium to see any of those things. And when the Wolfpack players walked off the field there's no way they thought they were going to Orlando. Read some of Tom O'Brien's quotes. You can google them up, I'm sure.

Kev29....I was specifically talking about post season lobbying. I personally think that Debbie ate him for lunch. And Anderson pretty much agreed with that, in somewhat different terms. I don't expect our AD to pull off miracles. But his inexperience, lack of ACC contacts and overall niceness was in part why we fell from 3rd to 8th. He has to take some responsibility, and he has. I also think he has learned a great deal from the experience. I sure hope so.

And to Terpfanma, I'll also point out the beautiful hit by Chism on Greene that was flagged for one of those "defensive player hitting too hard" calls.

I found this kinda interesting:

http://college-football-blog.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24156338/26278072

Posted by: steven09 | December 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

OBrien: We have fans.
UMd: We have players.

Posted by: aviscardo | December 7, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

meanwhile the champs bowl ticket sales aren't setting the world on fire.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/12/07/848709/first-day-ticket-sales-slower.html

Posted by: mcmelton | December 7, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The Big East doesn't operate this way.

Posted by: kermiepop | December 7, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I found this quote from Wisconsin AD pretty interesting and something to think about when people start throwing around the pot of gold they think exists in the Big Ten

The Big Ten generates more money than any other conference, thanks in part to its one-of-a-kind Big Ten Network. And no one in the conference, not even enthusiastic expansion advocates such as Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, wants to sacrifice a dime of the roughly $22 million each school gets a year.

"You just don't jump into the league and get a full share of what everyone else in this league has established over time," Alvarez said. "I think someone has to buy their way into the league."

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 7, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I give up on arguing about NC State getting the Champs Sports bid. My only beef is the arrogance of O'Brien. I guarantee if you took a poll, there are more Terps fans across the country than Wolfpack fans. So don't tell me we don't have fans.

And by the way, NC State may have topped Maryland in bowl politics, but Maryland beats NC State in EVERY SPORT ALL THE TIME. That is satisfying enough.

Posted by: ams1986 | December 7, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, folks, too many of you are conceding that it's okay to select teams based on attendance (or other factors, such as TV appeal presumably in Miami's case) rather than on-field performance.

Should the NCAA tournament start seeding basketball teams based on attendance? Maryland would probably do pretty well there. Or how about TV appeal? Should they go ahead and draw up brackets right now with UNC and Duke as top seeds, regardless of what happens during the season?

The attendance argument is BS.

Posted by: SmittyATL | December 7, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Great point

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

No one talks about what is fair for the Student-Athlete.The Maryland players won on the field, they deserved the better bowl. The rest is just another reminder of how everyone in College football makes money but the kids. The players at N.C. State know they got whipped by Maryland. When the game mattered Maryland had just finished out scoring N.C State 38-3!!! Maryland can use this experience to fire themselves up for just not the Military Bowl, but also next year. Go Terps.

Posted by: popsharris | December 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Bowls are completely different than the NCAA basketball tournament. The financial risk is all borne by the bowl organizing committees and, to some extent their sponsors. Id the NCAA dictated bowl appearance criteria more than it does now, one thing would be certain. There would be fewer bowls. That;s because bowls need to be in control of their marketing strategies that lead to ticket sales. The BCS bowls are a little different because the teams are more certain to be good and in most years they will be fine. But the lesser bowls would have major problems if they didn't have the kind of say they have now in the final selection.

Posted by: petecard | December 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Should the NCAA tournament start seeding basketball teams based on attendance? Maryland would probably do pretty well there. Or how about TV appeal? Should they go ahead and draw up brackets right now with UNC and Duke as top seeds, regardless of what happens during the season?

The attendance argument is BS.

Posted by: SmittyATL | December 7, 2010 12:19 PM

Great point

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2010 2:29 PM

Is it? First of all, the NCAA barely has any jurisdiction over college football. Oh wait, they can tell Cam Newton's father not to come to games - that's about it. Also, the bowls are (even more than ever) just glorified exhibitions - the NCAA Basketball Tournament is a real sports competition. Sanctioned by the NCAA, crowning a proper NCAA champion. The NCAA sets up the tournament based on setting up a fair competition to find a national champion. Comparing the bowl committees to the NCAA is a false equivalency.

Maryland getting screwed here is just a symptom of a larger problem with college football.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Kev29 and Petecard are missing the point. No one is saying the bowls are the same as the NCAA tourney. We're simply pointing out how unfair one of them is in relation to the other.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"No one talks about what is fair for the Student-Athlete.The Maryland players won on the field, they deserved the better bowl."

Tell that to the kids at Temple, who aren't going to any bowl this season despite finishing 8-4, and beating a team in a BCS game (UConn). The bowl system is such a farce, and if some old fogie thinks they can make more money, and turns around saying that they picked the two "most deserving" teams, they need to have their head examined.

Posted by: Russtinator | December 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

They have fans alright. One's that GUN DOWN other people in the parking lot on game day. Let's do a 2 week WASH POST expose of that!!

Posted by: MDFan | December 7, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

They have fans alright. One's that murder other fans on game day in the parking lot. Let's do a four page Wash Post expose of hand gun violence at NcState games. Oh wait, MD is the only school that the post decides they want to destroy. Nevermind.

Posted by: MDFan | December 7, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

'Twas a bitter pill to swallow folks; Maryland did deserve better, and I must say this talk of "traveling" well is defeatist rationalization. When there was a bowl that was meaningful, (and accessible) Maryland fans manned-up and attended. Orange, Peach, Gator, Champs, we showed in droves. Attendance this year at home was poor, but when we had, again, a "meaningful" game (Navy, FSU) there was a respectable crowd. The NC State game was on Thanksgiving weekend. Our fans and students had traveled well, but not to Byrd. BTW- I went to every home game this year and thought that, when we played NCSU, that their crowd was puny considering THEY were playing for the division championship. Morgan State actually traveled better than NCS and had a better marching band to boot!
The truth here is that we were flanked by a certain Ms. Debbie Yow. She knows us better than we know ourselves, and apparently used this knowledge to good effect. We all gloated with satisfaction when we beat her new school, but she must have vowed to get the last laugh. She might have lost the battle, but she would win the war. Realizing they were eliminated from the ACC championship the plotting began immediately. According to newsobserver.com
"Before the team boarded the plane to leave Maryland after the loss that kept the Wolfpack out of the ACC title game, Wilson [NCSU QB] asked Yow what had to be done to get N.C. State to the Champs Sports Bowl." They wasted no time and seemed to spare no expense as "N.C. State administrators pushed hard for it, sending senior associate athletic director Chris Kingston to Orlando to hand-deliver the school’s marketing plan."
How hard did our administration work? Did we assume that our team had done enough?
I have been through all the heartache that this letdown has caused, and I am still bitterly disappointed. My family had a planned to road trip to any "meaningful" bowl within driving distance. I liked Nashville. Lots of things to do there culturally. Alas, with the Terps being "awarded" the Military Bowl, the wife and kids have no interest in going to RFK to freeze- although it’s certainly a short trip. I do think that this bowl should have a nickname (perhaps the Boozer Bowl?) ‘cause it's only going to be a bunch of guys hanging out with other guys in the parking lot!
I had considered boycotting, but logic has prevailed: we can't let the team down, as this wasn't their fault. Our revenge should be that we fill the stadium with red (red faced boozers of course!) and give ECU hell! Next year, when we rip through the conference, we should show no mercy. The team should carry a chip on their shoulders, no, a Military Bowl patch on their shoulders, the entire year! This should remind them and the fans of travesty that has befallen us. As I write this on Pearl Harbor Day I say, “Remember the Military Bowl!” Go Terps!

Read more:
http://blogs.newsobserver.com/accnow/pack-players-excited-about-champs-bowl

Posted by: MrCrabbyPatty | December 7, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Nice post MrCrabby.

Barno, I acknowledge that the bowl system is unfair. It's like almost everything else in NCAA athletics, it's about the MONEY. One of the things that makes the NCAA basketball tournament special is that the selection and seeding process are more fair. But money is what makes that possible. The television deal for the NCAA is so big they don't really have to worry about attendance in the first two rounds. There are not local organizing committees and sponsors. Teams don't go there a week in advance for daily dog and ponies. That is not a practical solution for the bowl system and a play-off system could never be structured to take it's place. Unfair? Yes. Simple fix? There isn't one.

Posted by: petecard | December 8, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The attendance argument is not BS. The Bowl system exists to make money. If you cannot make the money, you don't get invited.

Posted by: Maximus3 | December 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Maryland getting screwed here is just a symptom of a larger problem with college football.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse


In attempting to disagree with me, both Maximus3 and Kev29 actually underscored my point. Basing post-season selections on factors such as attendance or TV appeal is unacceptable, because it does not reward student-athletes based on their performance on the field. Kev, your final sentence summed it up quite well.

Posted by: SmittyATL | December 8, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Well said, MrCrabby Patty. I had planned to travel to Orlando or Nashville to see the Terps. If I lived near DC, I would attend this game just to support the team. But I live 600 miles away, so traveling to RFK for the #8 ACC bowl during Christmas week won't happen. I did attend one home and one road game this year despite the distance, and will definitely do it again next year. We have a good team and a great QB, and I'm looking forward to next season.

Posted by: SmittyATL | December 8, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

SmittyATL - Do you live in Atlanta?

Posted by: TerpAlum | December 8, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company