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Ralph Friedgen and Bye Weeks: A History

Now that we've established that we have a bye week, which is awesome, how 'bout we analyze what that bye weeks means?

Most obviously, the good thing is that Maryland gets time to nurse some injuries: Gary Douglas, Kerry Boykins, Lamar Young, Demetrius Hartsfield, and Antwine Perez are all banged up. Hopefully, most, if not all, of those players will be available against NC State with an extra week of recuperation time.

There's also an extra week of practice, which means more time to hammer out turnovers and a generally poor offense, as well as more time for the coaches to gameplan; God knows they could use it.

In case you were wondering, here's Fridge's record in the game after a bye (blockquoted for emphasis):

2001 (10-2): W - Wake Forest
2002 (11-3): W - Georgia Tech*; W - Duke
2003 (10-3): L - Georgia Tech*; W - Virginia*
2004 (5-6): L - Georgia Tech; L - Virginia Tech*
2005 (5-6): L - Virginia Tech*; W - UNC
2006 (9-4): L - Georgia Tech
2007 (6-7): L - Virginia
2008 (8-5): W - Wake Forest; L - Virginia Tech*

* = Thursday game; 2 fewer days than a full bye week

For those of you keeping score, that would be a 6-7 bye week record, which is lower than the NFL 60% winning percentage (couldn't find the NCAA one). That's not entirely unskewed though: 4 of his losses came on "short" bye weeks, with Thursday games and two fewer days of practice. Plus, Thursday games tend to be against premier opponents, not the run of the mill ACC opponent. On a regular, non-Thursday bye, Ralph is 4-3, which is pretty spot on for the 60% - that's 57%, and it's just below his usual 61% winning percentage.

Of course, the record follows the quality of the team: two losses as 5-6, two wins as 11-3. The only possible conclusion is that, int he past three years, Maryland is just 1-3, but Maryland's teams have tended to be less talented recently regardless.

So, what did this entire exercise reveal? Not a whole lot, other than the bye week doesn't really do anything for Ralph Friedgen, at least nothing overtly visible.