For better or worse, Maryland’s going with Randy Edsall

November 30, 2011 | Drew Forrester

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because I think the reasons you don’t fire Edsall have a lot more to do with logic and a lot less to do with whether or not Maryland has $5 million laying around to send the coach out the door.

Let’s face it, they have a lot of problems down there right now.  I don’t know how they market next season’s team in the spring when the schedule comes out and they start trying to peddle tickets to their six home games.  I’m not at all certain the team will be a whole lot better next season, which is a scary thought in and of itself.  What if they follow up this year’s 2-10 fiasco with a more competitive but equally as disappointing 3-9 or 4-10 campaign in 2012?

What if it DOESN’T get much better by this time next year?

There’s no perfect answer for that question, not right now anyway.

But there is a perfect answer for how Randy Edsall puts 2011 behind him and moves on.  He needs to stop talking about 2011 and, without question, he must stop bringing up Friedgen and his era and whatever pieces that were left behind when he took over after his successful run at UConn.  That’s not to say that Edsall shouldn’t still be trying to learn how to improve on his coaching style using 2011 as fresh evidence for what he did wrong…and right…this past season.  But it’s no longer necessary to remind us all that Friedgen didn’t exactly leave the cupboard filled with goodies when he cleaned out his office last January.  We know that. And we also know Randy Edsall showed up at College Park with the “there’s a new sheriff in town” motto as his personal bumper-sticker and that didn’t lend itself well to success.

After watching Edsall’s first season, I think we all know how the china shop feels when the bull squeezes his way in through the revolving doors.

Everything wound up broken and in pieces and it was Edsall’s bucking and crashing into things that created most of the mess.

But he’s the guy they wanted down there.  Oddly enough, the bull-in-the-china-shop routine might be exactly what they figured they’d get when Edsall was brought in to straighten out the football program.  Some would point to the fact that the Terps went 9-4 BEFORE Randy showed up.  They also went 2-10 the year before that.

Randy Edsall either fixes Maryland football and it gets fixed because he came through — or it doesn’t get fixed and he’s the guy who eventually gets all of the blame.

Firing him today – or yesterday – would do nothing except add to the tension and strife and turmoil that already exists.

It might be the quick-fix effort that most people want, but it’s not what you do when you’re Maryland and you made a six-year investment in the man and his abilities.

If you’re Kevin Anderson, you simply hope you made the right choice when you hired Randy Edsall.  Firing him after a year DEFINITELY proves you hired the wrong man.  Sticking with him gives you the opportunity to still come out smelling like a rose.

But you’re banking on Randy Edsall.

A year ago, that seemed like a reasonably wise gamble.

Now…the gamble of keeping him might be greater than the gamble of letting him go.

But Maryland and Kevin Anderson are all-in – to borrow a poker term – and the hand they’re dealt will depend largely on Edsall’s ability to turn the program around.

I wouldn’t want to wager on it, that’s for sure.

A lot of damage has been done down at College Park.

And only time will tell if the scars can heal quickly enough to make Randy Edsall a winner at Maryland.