FanPost

Which Program Is Harder to Build?

It's been alluded to peripherally in other threads recently, and seems like a valid topic for it's own debate: Is it more difficult to build a football program or basketball program at UMD?

Since Randy Edsall and Mark Turgeon took over their respective programs at roughly the same time we can watch the programs develop in real life; and while this post is intended as a generic discussion, it's inevitable that real-life will seep into the debate.

For the sake of this discussion, we'll assume both programs are in need of an almost-complete overhaul. (We've debated the reality of the situation at length on this board).

Personally, I've thought about this topic, and haven't come to a conclusion yet. For both programs, recruiting is going to be critical. Because the real heyday of Maryland football is decades behind us (if there ever really was a heyday), getting top-level recruits to play at Byrd Stadium, a small venue compared to the elite football schools, is going to be a challenge. Comcast, conversely, is an 18,000 seat venue; among the largest in the country. Also, Maryland's hoops heyday is much more recent than football. Most of the recruits we're trying to lure here were at least alive when we won our Natty.

Football has far more pieces that need to be in place to be successful, which on the surface would appear to make basketball being much easier. But at the same time, because there are far fewer players on a basketball team, having one player not meet their potential is more devastating to a basketball program.

Also, injuries are much more prevalent in football, meaning that the football program needs to build significantly more depth at more positions than in basketball. However, having players switch positions to fill needs would seem to be a little easier in football. In theory, a defensive back could be converted to wide receiver or running back if that's where the need arises. Offensive linemen can often be converted to the d-line if necessary. If the basketball program needs a center, or power forward, and you have depth at guard, switching positions won't work.

I'm sure there are other elements that come into play, so feel free to bring those up in the comments. In the meantime, feel free to vote in the attached poll.

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