It's Official: Friedgen and Staff Return to Maryland - First Thoughts

Links abound if you want to find one.

You probably knew that my preference was to clean house, but that didn't happen. I do think that the worst thing that could've happened was Friedgen staying and Franklin leaving, but both remain (for now).

This is something in between, something I didn't even really consider as a possibility. From a pure team standpoint, it might not be that bad - there's the talent next year to win 6 games or so, and Friedgen/Franklin shouldn't get in the way of that too much. The problem comes in when we're talking about program momentum and the message this sends.

The team went 2-10 (you know this, but it was the first 10 loss year ever and the worst since 1967) and no one got punished. No one got reprimanded. Nothing happened. The staff returns, and there are no immediated signs that anyone will leave.

That sends the message that this type of season is acceptable, or at least not that bad. Someone has to take the blame for this kind of loss, and no one did. Maybe Lee Hull or Kevin Lempa end up under the bus, but there will be no large-scale changes.

According to WaPo, Friedgen made claims about injuries disrupting the year. Okay, well, the offensive line was below-average with and without Bruce Campbell. Due to a below-average offensive line, Da'Rel Scott's absence didn't make a difference; they lost the two (winnable) games after he returned, too. They were still bad with Chris Turner, and Jamarr Robinson might've been better for the team. Who else got hurt? Jamari McCollough? Gary Douglas? Demetrius Hartsfield? All minor pieces with capable backups, those injuries wouldn't lead to a loss. This wasn't the product of injuries.

They also balanced Friedgen's resume against that of Groh's, which are actually almost identical minus the three early years with Vanderlinden's players.

I'm confused and, honestly, a bit frustrated. Virginia can afford the buyout of Groh. At the very least get rid of some assistants. Who has adequately done their job on this staff, both on recruiting and coaching?

Of course, economics did play a role, but if Maryland really wanted to do it, they could've found the funds. You can always find the funds. Rolling over quickly means that Yow wasn't that concerned.

Recruiting will take a hit; Fridge is, in the words of Sarah Palin, a lame duck coach, and he's coaching a program with no momentum that had their worst season in decades. Bye-bye hopes of top 25 recruiting classes, which were already lacking.

Like I said, they'll still have a good year next year, probably 6 or 7 wins as long as the QB turns out decent. But will anyone care? I'm a diehard, and even I feel a bit perturbed by the decision. Few casual fans will turn out, and ticket sale losses will mount. The concerns about selling out suites will disappear in favor of concerns about selling half the suites. 6 or 7 wins aren't enough to revive interest in the program.

Still, I can't tell the future, so maybe Maryland wins 10 next year and all is forgiven. Right now, that doesn't seem likely, and unless this was 100% economically motivated, I don't understand the reasoning behind it. I'll probably come to figure it out more as time goes on, but right now, I got nothing.

Feel free to vent off, criticize me, the decision, whatever.

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