Some thoughts that have been accumulating in my head over the past few days:
1. On Ralph: After a long, agonizing season last year when I couldn't decide what Ralph's fate should be, I finally came to the decision that he should be fired. There were way too many indefensible actions on his part, such as burning redshirts unnecessarily, poorly managing the clock, and inadequately using players. I thought, though, that things were much improved this year. Sure there were play calls and other things that I disagreed with, but they were hardly indefensible. I believe that Ralph deserved another year to prove that 2009 was an aberration.
But with Franklin leaving, and likely taking a good chunk of the coaching staff with him, Ralph would be in a "starting over" position. Now is not the time for that. Even the most ardent Ralph supporters know that he's not going to be our coach in the long term. As sad and unfair to Ralph as that is, now is the time to make a big change.
The buyout vs retirement thing will be ugly in the short term. I understand both sides and am comfortable however it plays out. But Maryland needs to quickly - before next season ends - make amends and figure out some way to honor Ralph's tenure as HC. Even the most ardent Ralph haters must recognize that Ralph is gone because we're comparing him to himself. He raised the bar. If, 11 years ago, we knew we could hire someone who'd win 60% of his games and take Maryland to a bowl game in 7 out of 10 years, we'd be absolutely thrilled. Now, that's not good enough. Thank you, Ralph, for bringing Maryland football back to the point where that's our sentiment.
2. Why I'm Excited About Leach: Quite simply, this would be a great hire because it comes with expectations. If we hire Leach, we should expect to become immediate and consistent ACC contenders, immediate and consistent strong recruiters, and immediately and consistently fun to watch. Unlike with Ralph, there should not be questions about what success would look like. (Except for the few dopes that think that anything less than a national championship is a failure.) A big name, proven coach is the best kind of hire for us right now.
3. The Lawsuits: If we hire Leach, it should be contingent upon him dropping his lawsuits against TT and ESPN. I believe that he would win the suits. However, it's hard to imagine any real good coming from that. He doesn't need the money. And the chances of something incriminating coming out during the proceedings is too much of a risk and would only serve as a distraction and bring negative attention to Maryland. Best to just move on and put that all in the past. (Plus, we really don't want ESPN as an enemy.)
Let's go Terps.