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On Maryland Football and Bad Decisions

I am, avowedly, not a fan of college football. I can’t muster true passion for a sport where the championship is awarded rather than earned. For me, no playoff means no legitimacy. One could argue that all sports are basically theater but in the case of college football the conclusion cuts close to the quick.

That said, I’m a fan of most things Terrapins-related because Maryland is the state school and I have a sizable amount of regional pride. I care far more about the basketball team but it’s the Terps I care about whenever I care about football. And damn if I don’t find the state of that program fully embarrassing.

Which is to say, every day Randy Edsall spends as Maryland’s coach is a day not spent on the program’s road to prosperity.

The point is made more fully than I ever could by John Feinstein at the Washington Post. That’s required reading for anyone who has an interest in the Terps, football fan or not.

Why bring this up? Partially because of our long, woeful, and shared relationship with the Orioles.

One thing I’ve learned in my years on earth is that it is astoundingly easy for large organizations to not only make terrible decisions but to also double down on them. Get ego and inertia in a room together and, most times, everyone below the top level is fucked. Let that simmer for a few years and suddenly you’re staring at odds even the most inveterate gambler wouldn’t take.

This has already happened to the Orioles. They’ll dig out someday but things don’t have to get to that point. Problems can in fact be nipped in the bud and a few years of downtime don’t have to become a decade or more of failure.

I’d hate to see Maryland football become a joke again like it was when I was growing up. Ralph Friedgen may not have been great but he made the program respectable. Randy Edsall has already taken one or maybe two steps back from that level. Keep him around much longer and things could get ugly. And, well, we know what ugly looks like.

8 comments to On Maryland Football and Bad Decisions

  • sci

    Edsall just reminds me of all that is bad and annoying in a football coach. A long set of rules, a “my way or the highway” approach, a total lack of personal accountability – he blamed everyone but himself or his system for this season, unbelievable arrogance, and plus he just looks like a dick. If you’re an asshole like that, you better be an amazing coach like Belichick, and Edsall is not an amazing coach. He’s probably not even a decent coach. Just the absolute wrong hire. And he replaced Friedgen, who was a decent coach and a very decent guy in general.

    Now we’ll see how Turgeon does with the basketball team. So far, it’s not looking great. This new AD, Anderson, looks really bad so far.

  • Jack

    Well, I think I’ve got a few yrs on you younguns and while you were witnessing MD in the tank I, as a huge UVA fan growing up in Richmond, was watching the Twerps house UVA year in and year out (hoops was another matter, where things were, for the most part, evenly matched).

    UVA had the longest losing streak in NCAA history for a time there in the late 70s/early 80s…

    Anyhow, I do not suffer from schadenfreude, thankfully, but I too think Edsall is a blight on what should’ve been a good program, and it does not pain me to see the Terps suffer. I apologize for that. My kids are growing up in Baltimore and know kids who’re going to College Park, so it behooves me to start prepping for the remote possibility that they’ll one day consider becoming Terps, and for this reason alone I hope they get their stuff in a pile and shite-can Edsall.

    Meanwhile, in stark contrast, my alma mater has done me proud by hiring who I think is one of the best coaches going, and not only in the ACC or, for that matter, in college football: ACC coach of the year Mike London. By all accounts, and I know plenty of people who are just insane UVA supporters who are truly in the know, he is concentrating on rebuilding the program on the shoulders of good citizen-athletes and not just athletes…And apparently it’s working.

    We’ll see.

  • Mike R

    @ sci:
    Yeah, I’m not a big fan of Edsall. He’s ruffled a lot feathers. I’d like to think Gary Crowton’s record setting offensive system he used at LSU just needs a couple years to get the right players in here to be great. When you go 2-10 though, you’re not going to get those players to come here.

    As far as Turgeon goes, he walked into a terrible situation. This team will be a perennial top-25 program again with the assistants he brought in. Dalonte Hill, Scott Spinelli, and Bino Ranson have the best AAU connections in the country, maybe more importantly the Baltimore/DC area where many a great player has been plucked from out of our own backyard. Turgeon gets involved a lot in recruting as well. Next years class is already rated 17th best in the country with 2 four stars and a three star player coming in. Not bad for a program who didn’t even play in the NIT last year.

    Edsall can get shit-canned, don’t care. But give Turgeon time. Maryland B-Ball oughta get their shit together just in time for Syracuse and Pitt to join the ACC, making it the toughest basketball conference ever. Cuse, Pitt, Duke, UNC, they could be 4 of the top 5 in the rankings at any given time. Can 4 #1 seeds to the big dance all come from one conference?

  • PW

    @ sci:
    Turgeon was absolutely a good hire and he just needs to get players who want to play for him. This season is going to be rough because the players just don’t want to run his offense. When they do run his sets they look good, but that isn’t often enough. Turgeon’s got the pedigree, has won everywhere he’s gone and will win again at Maryland, hopefully for a long time.

    As for Edsall and the football program, not so much optimism. They beat a Miami team that was at half strength and beat Towson, who did well in D1-AA but still its D1-AA. Other than that they have looked bad in every other game this season, including that resounding wtf game last week which is the most embarrassing thing to happen in Terps sports in a long time.

  • Mike R

    Ravens 13
    Browns 16

    Not until Cam proves he can go on the road and put a shitty team away by cramming the run game down their 29th ranked run defense throats. Top ranked pass defense. Hope he doesnt have Flacco throw it more than 25 times. much less 50.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  • PW

    Can I get a resounding “what the hell Cundiff?”

    Even with that I’m happy with the ground and pound right now and the D looks good even with Ray still playing cheerleader. Still struggling in the redzone though which is a problem.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    nice win, great decision to run all over them. i can already feel the tension of that final game at cincy. sure would be nice if the steelers and pats lost one.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    basically i feel like the ravens HAVE to secure home field. a number 2 seed would be nice i guess but going to new england or pittsburgh for a championship game? no thanks.

    *not taking the remaining opponents lightly, just sayin’. tired of all this having to win three playoff games on the road BULLSHIT.

    **baltimore is spoiled