It's been more than a month since our last mailbag, but recent events have forced our hands a bit, haven't they?
Based on the information we have right now, it's likely Maryland will shortly have a new football coach. But nothing's over until documents are signed and transitions are announced, so bear that in mind.
Let's get right into questions.
@testudotimes would you laugh or cry if we somehow beat Ohio State— Nate Cloeter (@ncloeter) October 8, 2015
It'd be pretty hard not to laugh, just because of the way this has all unfolded. Randy Edsall is coaching what feels, at least from the outside, a lame-duck game in Week 6 against the No. 1 team in the country. If Maryland somehow pulls off an upset against the top-ranked team in the sport and moves to 3-3 overall, could Edsall really be fired the next day? That's a tough sell, even if one game shouldn't mean anything. That would be an unprecedented situation.
@testudotimes who will start at QB on Saturday— Zack Aitken (@zaitken7) October 8, 2015
No hints yet, and Maryland's been really tight-lipped about it. Edsall said Maryland would probably "be making a change" after last week's loss to Michigan, but the depth chart lists three co-starters: Caleb Rowe, Perry Hills and Daxx Garman. All have played poorly this season, and all have reasonably similar playing styles.
@testudotimes What is the highest profile coaching hire Maryland has ever made, and how to the popular names compare? #TerpsMailbag— Harry S (@HarryHareBear) October 8, 2015
This is a good question. Based on the dynamics of this media age, the 2011 hirings of Edsall and Mark Turgeon stick out. When Maryland hired Gary Williams in basketball in 1989, he wasn't a huge deal based on his tenure at Ohio State or anything. In football, neither was Ralph Friedgen when he came over after a stint as an assistant at Georgia Tech. And if you go back too far, you're getting to a point where coaching celebrity was pretty limited beyond a few big names. Maryland's never made a hire of the Jim Harbaugh/Michigan or John Calipari/Kentucky nature, I don't think.
Comparatively, the biggest "splash" Maryland could make is Chip Kelly, the embattled Philadelphia Eagles coach whose name popped up out of what feels like thin air this week. I'm not sure Kelly would want to coach Maryland, and I'm not sure he couldn't get a way better college job if he decided he wanted to return to the level where he had so much success with Oregon. But Maryland would probably get to "yes" on Kelly in about five minutes, and it'd be big news if Kelly did, too.
@testudotimes Will Nick Saban leave mid season or after the season to coach the terps— Jake Butt (@RossJarr) October 8, 2015
Working to get an answer here.
@testudotimes On a scale of 1 to 4-trillion, how dumb was it to give Edsall a contract extension last year?— RobJem (@RSJem) October 8, 2015
Not that dumb. As I wrote when it happened, uncertainty surrounding Edsall would've been potent negative recruiting material for opposing coaches, especially as Maryland was trying to get a local prospect movement off the ground. Now, it seems Edsall's dismissal might not be that big a deal in that regard, but it doesn't make the rationale any less valid. Maryland's going to have to pay Edsall $2.6 million to go away, but that figure could have been a lot worse.
Still, did athletic director Kevin Anderson cost Maryland some money here? If he fires Edsall, he certainly did.
@testudotimes who do you think replaces Edsall and who would be your dream hire?— Billy Siemers (@BStakesnoBS) October 8, 2015
Mostly, I'll leave this to Pete Volk, who will have a long breakdown of Maryland's options if and when Edsall is formally dismissed. On that end, there's a ton to comb through, both from the college ranks and elsewhere.
In the interim, there are two clear candidates. Offensive coordinator and QBs coach Mike Locksley is a great recruiter, and having him at the helm could calm some worries about 2016 prospects jumping ship. And assistant head coach Lyndon Johnson, by virtue of that title, is an obvious possibility.