Ah, the ol' football roundtables. Remember these? An ACC blog from somewhere in the blogosphere asks us other 11 ACC blogs questions, and we respond via our own blogs. It's pretty simple.
This week's host is none other than Brendan from From Old Virginia, the premier and newly-optimistic UVA blog, and he did a fine job if I may say so myself. Here's our answers to his questions:
At UVA we have made wholesale changes to everything this past offseason: the coaching staff, the offense, the defense, the uniforms, even the color of the equipment shed. What change or changes on your own team are you most looking forward to watching play out on the field this season?
Actually, Maryland needs to start making some changes, and I'm disappointed so few have occurred after such a bad year. The only real change, at least that we know about, is the re-institution of the option offense. Maryland won't be Georgia Tech, but with some new-found mobility at QB, expect a few options plays per game.
Past that...yeah, past that there's really nothing.
Who is the next ACC coach to get fired, and when? And if you think that's your own coach, who would you like to see replace him?
Sure, Tom O'Brien could get fired and Butch Davis could resign, but I'm fairly certain that a new AD won't put up with another poor season from Ralph Friedgen. N.C. State is in much better shape than Maryland to put together a bowl season, too.
As for replacements: ideally, it'd be Jim Harbaugh from Stanford or Al Golden from Temple, though Mike Leach comes up a lot and I don't think anyone could complain about that, but Harbaugh is 1A and Golden is 1B. (Am I crazy, or would Rich Rodriguez make some sense if he was fired from Michigan? I'm probably crazy.)
How excited are you about your team's out-of-conferece lineup this year? How would you grade your program overall when it comes to scheduling OOC games?
On a scale of 1 to 10, 8. Maryland gets two easy wins in Florida International and Morgan State, and the other two games are local and against the closest things Maryland has to arch-rival in football. The reason it's not higher is because teams like Notre Dame and Texas will be on the docket in coming years, and Navy and West Virginia don't have that type of name brand.
For the most part, UMD's done an admirable job of scheduling quality opponents on a regular basis, and the future Notre Dame and Texas games are just further confirmation of that. Keeping West Virginia on the schedule in the future and getting the two Cal games were both good moves. Now we just need to figure out how to get Navy on the schedule a tad more, or at least take a trip or two down south.
What one player on your schedule (not in the ACC overall - your team's schedule only, and it doesn't have to be ACC) are you most worried will cause you pain and grief this year?
Two answers: 1A, Ricky Dobbs; 1B, Noel Devine. Not only will Dobbs tear through Maryland's offense, I'll still probably like him at the end of the day. And for all I care, Devine is Steve Slaton incarnate, just without the interesting backstory. Slaton was kryptonite for the Terps, and Devine will probably be even worse.
Conversely, provide us a little bulletin board material. Which team on your calendar are you absolutely positive that not only will you stomp their guts to China, but you'll gain the warmest, fuzziest feeling of immense satisfaction out of doing it?
Clemson. It's what Maryland football does. Maryland just beats Clemson. 3-1 the past four years, really without much business in winning any of those games. Hell, that was the only FBS game Maryland won last year.
It's been a loony offseason in the conference membership department, but the ACC sat out this round. Do you think the ACC is set at 12 teams for the long term? If not, which team(s) is/are most likely to be added, and which would you like to see?
I'm not sure if the ACC is set at 12, but I certainly hope not. Most Maryland fans would like to see some kind of further expansion to the north, just to keep the northern-y schools like UMD relevant to the conference leadership. Pittsburgh and one of Syracuse or Rutgers would be the ideal additions.
Standard question for the finish: a) What do you expect out of your team, b) What kind of season would keep you content and happy, c) What kind of season would be a disappointment?
a) Expectations are set pretty low for me. 5-7 seems pretty reasonable.
b) At least 8-4, with one big name upset. Maryland fans need some serious kind of positivity to actually feel good about football again, and backing into a minor bowl won't cut it.
c) Any season which is in that limbo area of 5-7 to 7-5. It's not good enough to revitalize the fanbase and program, but it's not bad enough to get Friedgen and Franklin fired for good, either. That's the worst possible outcome for next year.