Looking primed to return to the NCAA tournament next season with a loaded recruiting class coming this fall, the University of Maryland will suffer a major blow to those hopes.
More details are emerging about the reason for leading scorer and second-team all-ACC guard Terrell Stoglin declaring for the 2012 NBA Draft on Sunday. The university announced Monday morning that Stoglin and Mychal Parker, who recently announced his intention to transfer to another school, had been suspended for a year due to “a violation of the University of Maryland Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.”
Averaging 21.6 points per game to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in the 2011-12 season, the 6-foot-1 Stoglin will exit College Park after his sophomore season.
Stoglin’s relationship with first-year head coach Mark Turgeon was strained at times last season, which included an incident in which the guard publicly questioned the coach’s motives after he was benched in the final minutes of a loss at Duke. Turgeon openly shared his frustration with Stoglin’s willingness to be coached at different points but had recently expressed confidence on AM 1570 WNST that he would be a better coach for the Tuscon, Ariz. native next season.
The mercurial guard — along with Parker — will instead depart after one season under Turgeon.
“Being a University of Maryland student-athlete carries a tremendous honor and responsibility,” director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. “As much as we appreciate the effort these two young men gave to the program this season, they were unable to live up to that responsibility. We’re disappointed, but hope they use this as a learning experience.”
It is believed that Stoglin’s suspension stems from academic issues.
The deadline to declare for the NBA Draft was Sunday, with the draft itself to be held on June 28 in Newark, N.J
Based on Stoglin’s action on his Twitter account Monday morning, it became more apparent the announcement was not based solely on his desire to play in the NBA.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Maryland women’s basketball sophomore Alyssa Thomas was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, announced by ACC Commissioner John Swofford Thursday. The conference’s top individual honor is voted on by the league’s “Blue Ribbon Panel,” which consists of national and local media members, as well as school representatives.
Thomas, a native of Harrisburg, Pa., is just the second sophomore ever to be honored with the league’s top honor in its 29-year history. Duke’s Alana Beard won in 2002 as a sophomore. Beard and Thomas were both named ACC Rookie of the Year in their respective freshman seasons.
She is the fourth Terrapin to win the honor and the third in the last five years. Vicky Bullett won in 1989, Crystal Langhorne was honored in 2008 and Kristi Toliver won in 2009.
“First, I have to thank my teammates and our coaches. They push me every single day and we play hard for each other,” Thomas said. “This is such an honor because there’s so many great players in our league.”
Thomas, the ACC’s leading scorer, is averaging 17.0 points per game and 17.7 points per conference game. Her 8.5 rebounds per ACC game are fifth-best in the league. She was named ACC Player of the Week Monday and recorded a total of four weekly honors this season – more than any other player in the league.
“What a tremendous honor for Alyssa and we’re really appreciative that the voters recognized the incredible season she’s had for Maryland,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “We also know that there were other worthy candidates. I think Alyssa’s had more legendary-type moments in one season than most have in a lifetime. Her will to win is unsurpassed and I don’t think anyone plays harder for her team. She’s easy to coach and she responds to being challenged. Of course, this could not have happened without her tremendous teammates and the staff.”
“We feel like we’ve helped her improve, but really, what you see from Alyssa all started back home in Harrisburg, where she was raised by an incredible family and community. As a person and a player, she’s one of the people you want to wear your uniform and to represent your school. We’re incredibly proud and happy for her and our program.”
Thomas proved to be a game-changer for the Terrapins. In their third ACC contest of the season, Thomas scored 18 second half points, including the winning jumper with 17.0 seconds left, to help Maryland come back from a 20-point deficit to top Georgia Tech. Two days later, she made a reverse layup at the buzzer to force overtime at North Carolina. The Terps would go on to win 76-72.
In the Terrapins’ 63-61 win over No. 5 Duke on Feb. 19, Thomas pulled in 12 rebounds but made one of the best defensive plays of the season on the last play. With four seconds left in the game and the Terps with a two-point lead, Thomas helped get a stop in the paint to force the ball outside. As the Blue Devils swung it around the arc to Haley Peters on the opposite side of the court from Thomas, she sprinted to Peters and blocked the potential game-winning shot as the buzzer expired, sealing the win for the Terrapins. It would be Duke’s lone loss in ACC play.
A week later, she scored 22 of her 24 points in the second half to lead Maryland to a 65-50 win at North Carolina State in the regular season finale. In one 10-minute span in the second half, she rattled off 16 straight points for the Terrapins and finished with a career-high 17 blocks and four rebounds.
Thomas has scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games this season with eight double-doubles. The Terrapins won four straight to end the regular season. In that four-game span, Thomas averaged 17.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and four assists per game.
“What Alyssa has done this year against some stiff competition is nothing short of remarkable and has been so much fun to watch,” Maryland director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. “Alyssa represents all that we are here at Maryland with her incredible work ethic, love for her team and leadership on and off the court. Congratulations to her and her teammates, Coach Frese and the rest of the program for their part in this special award.”
Four members of the fifth-ranked Terrapins squad were named to the All-ACC Teams announced Monday. Thomas earned first team honors, while Tianna Hawkins made the second team. Lynetta Kizer and Laurin Mincy each earned honorable mention honors and Kizer was enamed the ACC’s Sixth Player of the Year. Brene Moseley was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team Tuesday and Alicia DeVaughn was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team Wednesday.
The Terrapins (25-4, 11-4 ACC) will open play in the 35th Annual ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Friday evening at approximately 8 p.m. as the No. 3 seed. They will play either sixth-seeded Virginia or 11th-seeded Boston College, depending on Thursday’s result.
All eight games on Thursday and Friday will be broadcast on the league’s regional sports network (RSN), which includes Comcast SportsNet +, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Florida and the New England Sports Network. Friday’s contest can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet +. The entire tournament can also be seen on ESPN3 and Maryland’s games will also be shown online on the Terps’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MarylandWomensBasketballFans.
For more information, visit the official site of the 2012 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at www.theACC.com/SheCanPlay. Fans can also follow the upcoming Tournament games on Twitter at @ACCwbb.
Maryland is ranked No. 5 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Division I Top 25 Coaches’ poll and No. 6 in this week’s Associated Press rankings.
The Baltimore Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg joined me in studio Wednesday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. We held a very special year-end awards show that we cleverly titled “The Van Clarkenburgs.” Here is a rundown of our winners…
Glenn Clark: O’s decision to bring Zach Britton up with team from Spring Training
Kevin Van Valkenburg: Britton’s May 18 start vs. New York Yankees
Glenn: Birds’ decision to demote Britton midway through season
Kevin: Mike Flanagan suicide death
Glenn: Terrell Suggs
Kevin: Drafting Torrey Smith
Glenn: Trading for Lee Evans instead of signing free agent Malcom Floyd
Kevin: 12-7 loss to Jacksonville Jaguars October 24
“Best Other Local Sports”-
Glenn: Towson University Football
Kevin: Graham Motion trained Animal Kingdom wins Kentucky Derby
“Worst Other Local Sports”-
Glenn: Randy Edsall’s first season in College Park
Kevin: Kevin Anderson’s handling of Mike Leach, Sean Miller
What topic deserved more conversation in 2011?
Glenn: Novak Djokovic’s incredible season
Kevin: Ugly nature of NCAA/College Sports
What topic received too much conversation?
Glenn: Tim Tebow
Kevin: LeBron James
Who did the best coaching job in 2011?
Glenn: Joe Maddon
Kevin: Rick Carlisle
Who did the worst coaching job in 2011?
Glenn: Norv Turner
Kevin: Norv Turner
What was the best game you attended in 2011?
Glenn: Maryland’s 4-3 2OT soccer win at UMBC
Kevin: Baltimore Ravens’ 23-20 win over Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field
What was the best game you watched on TV in 2011?
Glenn: World Series Game 6 St. Louis Cardinals/Texas Rangers
Kevin: Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal Team USA/Brazil
What about sports were we “better off” for in 2011?
Glenn: NBA starting on Christmas Day
Kevin: Appreciation of Women’s World Cup
What sports media type do you love but hate to follow on Twitter?
Glenn: Gregg Doyel (CBSSports.com)
Kevin: Darren Rovell (CNBC)
I tried explaining to everyone it wouldn’t matter if the Cowboys blew out Oklahoma Saturday night in Stillwater. Every time someone asked a question like “what if the Pokes win by a score of 50-0?” I responded with a simple “it won’t matter.”
I was right. Louisiana State will face Alabama again in the BCS Championship Game and OSU will get to watch after playing Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.
It’s a shame, as Oklahoma State certainly looked like a team capable of making things interesting in New Orleans on Saturday night. The shame is that their Bedlam rivalry win was marred by 13 fans being injured when they rushed the Boone Pickens Stadium field. It’s also a shame the Big 12 Champs aren’t Bayou bound because we’d all like to see more of Mike Gundy dancing…
It’s not that I don’t think highly of Oklahoma State (or Alabama), it’s just that the Tigers have been pretty dominant. See Badger, Honey.
It appears as though Tyrann Mathieu’s punt return TD shouldn’t have counted, and he actually had another return later in the game that didn’t result in a TD that was more impressive. But this was still a lot of fun to watch him run all over the Georgia Dome field in the SEC Championship Game.
It’s awfully early, but I’ll go ahead and call a Tigers win over the Crimson Tide in the title game. Just going out on a limb without having to at all. All balls, that Glenn Clark. At least that’s what my 4th grade teacher always said.
I picked the Denver Broncos to beat the Minnesota Vikings on “The Friday Football Frenzy” this week; but I gave myself an out. “If Von Miller doesn’t play the Broncos lose” I said.
What I didn’t know is that the great Tim Tebow had the “throw a 41 yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas while running out of bounds” in his repertoire…
Tim Tebow is better than you. And thanks to an Oakland Raiders loss we’ll get back to later in the game, he’s in first place in the AFC West.
Some Tim Tebow haters won’t give it up, including Merrill Hoge. He told the New York Post that Tim Tebow hasn’t proven anything because he hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Yep. That’s solid analysis. Well done sir.
Since we’re here, here’s this humorous picture of Matt Willis and Willis McGahee.
And also, this is apparently a photo of a fetus (or unborn child if you will) Tebowing. If you don’t want to look at it, don’t. I have no idea what I’m looking at myself.
CJ2K has gone over 100 yards three times in his last four games, a feat he accomplished just once in in his first eight games.
That would be better if you were confused while playing along at home.
It was 153 yards and two TD’s Sunday as the Tennessee Titans topped the Buffalo Bills, a team I SWEAR had been good at some point during their existence…
Things get a BIT more difficult for the Titans next week, as they battle the Saints in Nashville. They find themselves still alive in the AFC South race but also still in the AFC Wild Card mix. AND they’re in the mix for the Cotton Bowl. Or something like that.
The Jets scored 3 TD’s in the final five minutes of Sunday’s game at FedEx Field and got big plays from Aaron Maybin to avoid the upset.
A few things to giggle about here.
One-If the Skins manage to win two of their last four games this season, Mike Shanahan will manage to tie the great Jim Zorn’s record through the first two seasons! Big stuff!
Two-Washington’s Fred Davis and Trent Williams are suspended for the next four games for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. I don’t think the substance has been officially announced, but I think I have a guess…
Tough first year down there at College Park for Randy Edsall. Even tougher on Terp fans. Two wins – Towson State (it will always be Towson State to me) and “It sucks to be U” (minus 8 players, 4 starters) Miami. Ten losses – accented buy numerous collapses. None worse than the last game of the season, 56 – 41 trouncing by NC State. West Virginia and Clemson were busts. The NC State game was deplorable. Outscored 42 – 0 in the last 20 some minutes, during the last game of the year. Ouch! The Terps may not have had the talent, but to lose those three games the way they did, is lack of leadership and coaching.
Edsall needs to recruit “his type of player”. Forget that out for now. Bottom line – you are not any type of coach, I do not care at what level, to allow your team and university to be embarrassed. There are going to be tough weeks. There is going to be that game when you are totally dominated. Unfortunately for Maryland fans, except for the Miami game, Terp football was seemingly dominated the entire year. At times, it appeared as if the University of Maryland was fielding a good High School or Division III football team and throwing them out there on a field with professionals. Fourth quarter came, Terps went south, opponents surged. Edsall and his coaching staff looked like they were a deer in the headlights. And unfortunately that tranferred down to the players.
We can’t discount Edsall yet. Remember they are not “his” players. There were many injuries. There were changes off the field. I’m sure his “disciplined ball player” approach was and is a tough sell. Most of those “student athletes” weren’t ready to go to class, maintain grades and wear ball caps with the brim facing forward. The cream will rise to the top and the thugs will fall. There were positives amongst the majority of negatives: Joe Vellano – ACC First team DT , Demetrius Hartfield – ACC Honorable Mention LB, Matt Furstenburg TE and Davin Megget RB - effort.
Joe Vellano – one the reasons to catch Terp Football next year.
Edsall isn’t going anywhere, he has a nice contract and the buy out would evidently crumble 8 more varsity sports at UMCP. Uh-oh don’t get me started on that one – definately a subject for another blog. We should give Edsall some time - change is not always welcomed at first. But yo, Randall – bag the 300 different uniform color combinations, gain the respect of your players and if you’re not going to get in the faces of those youngsters, then get some coaches with guts who will.
For the naysayers and goofballs calling for Edsalls head already, all I have to say are two names: Mark Duffner and Ron Vanderlinden. Their first years record (2-9), second year (2-9 and 3-8), third year (4-7 and 5-6). Ok, I’ll stop, I’m getting bad chills. I hope down the line, I do not cringe when I hear the name Randall Edsall. After that NC State game, I was doing a little more than cringing. The Terp football coach isn’t the only one having a tough first year. How about that new AD? Man, he’s running tops in my book. The new sherif in town takes out 2 coaching icons, watches one program tank, the other on the brink of bottoming out and then eliminates 8 varsity sports programs due to lack of funds. You go Kevin Anderson – what’s your scam? What’s your fix? Bottom out and build up? That is one approach. Was it self-inflicted or did you inherit the mess? Time will tell.
“With change, you will find purpose.” Randy Edsall should purposely get his act together. Because right now he definately does not have the “Moves Like Jagger” – (Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera). He has done failed round 1. I believe he has 4 rounds left. Personally, I’m still wondering what happened with Mike Leach? Now there’s “old school”. I’m not one for the “passive” approach. Was hoping Terps would hire Mr. No Nonsense Texas Tech.
Tough to be a Terp sports fan at the moment. But let’s end with postives: Womens Field Hockey, Womens Basketball, Mens Wrestling………………. and don’t forget mens/womens swimming, track and field, mens tennis, etc. whoops there’s that subject for another blog again. Terpland in need of help. Come on Turgeon – another uphill battle.
It’s simply not easy being a Terps fan these days. From the maiden voyage of the SS Randy Edsall which has been mercifully docked for the season a tattered shell of its modest former self to the cutting of 8 sports to the anticipation of a bumpy road ahead for the basketball team, the fans are up in arms and AD Kevin Anderson is likely beginning to feel a bit of heat with little to redeem his brief tenure thus far yet plenty of fodder to indict with.
That said, the thought that Mark Turgeon would have an easier transition in filling the shoes of the legend Gary Williams than Randy Edsall would have in filling Ralph Friedgen’s old post was all buy unfathomable just 7 or so months ago. Yet that is seemingly just what has happened.
Edsall’s win/loss record is one thing, but the fact that he has done little to endear himself to the fans or media stands in stark opposition to the school’s proclamation that Friedgen’s failure to attract ticket buyers was at the heart of his dismissal. To that end, Edsall is failing miserably.
Turgeon on the other hand saved Nick Faust, the biggest remaining recruit in the Gary Williams cache and then quickly went about stocking the cupboard for 2012. As the Terps’ devout and astute fan base has taken notice, Turgeon will get a pass this season. Turgeon will get a pass that is; as long as he simply says and does the “right things” to appease a fan base yearning to believe that he can lead this team back to glory.
Conceding that notion however, the emotion of a season and the game-to-game action of the schedule can certainly change the tenor and the expectations of the fans in a hurry. Thus far it would seem that the Terps have shown themselves to have scant enough talent to stand much of a chance on most nights against “big 6” competition and therefore as long as their efforts look genuine and their improvement marked throughout the season, fans will be both summarily appeased and encouraged.
For me, while acceptable, all of the above became much more painful as I, as a fan, came to grips with the Terps place in the relative basketball universe over the two days of action that was the 2011 ACC/Big 10 Challenge. As the ACC was plodding their way to an 8 games to 4 loss in the challenge, a couple of things became painfully evident.
First is that the basketball luster of the once proud ACC is fading quickly (a realization made all the more difficult as fans once proud of the conference’s basketball identity and legacy have been summarily reminded at every turn that football is still way out front in the race to drive inter-collegiate politics). What’s more, this means that our hopes, as fans, for the basketball credibility of the conference now ride on the hated Tarheels and Blue Devils. If pulling for those two are requirements for being a good ACC fan, count me out for now and simply color me disappointed and moderately disgusted.
The second realization, one both comforting and disturbing, is that Carolina and Duke are both soft, neither looks much like a safe bet to get past the sweet 16 and it shouldn’t be a shock if someone was able to step up and steal the conference this season. It would be a shock however if that somebody was Maryland, for now I’ll call it anyone’s guess.
The ACC though in general is sort of up for grabs, in both football and basketball. The conference expansion that was supposed to bring football credibility to the conference while also bringing basketball credibility to the football powers it imported has been a miserable failure on both fronts. The ACC is still an afterthought in the BCS title picture, the perennial BCS powers it brought in are now fighting it out for the one automatic berth to the BCS that the ACC had already and now from a basketball standpoint the watered down ACC might be the 3rd or 4th best hoops conference in America this season…and it hasn’t happened all at once.
As the ACC prepares to absorb Pitt and the recently scandalous Syracuse it seems to indicate their belief that the basketball side of the operation needs a bit of a jump-start too. Recent history suggests the foreseeable outcome isn’t necessarily the likely one.
In both football and basketball, the ACC is absolutely ripe for the picking and Maryland has at least acted over the last 10 months or so like they intend to be in on the harvest. Now it’s just a matter of trusting the guys who’ll build the ladders to get it, and hoping they be able to get them high enough.
As Drew Forrester has said here at WNST.net, Randy Edsall is going to be the football coach at the University of Maryland in 2012.
The #FIREEDSALL trend on Twitter is certainly alive and John Feinstein absolutely shredded the coach this week in the Washington Post, but neither will have an effect on his job status.
Despite a 2-10 record in Edsall’s first season with the Terrapins, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson has every intention to stick with the man he hired after firing 10 year head coach and Maryland alum Ralph Friedgen nearly a year ago.
He’ll be doing that for a few reasons.
The first of those reasons is because no one is fairly considering how significant a role injuries played in the team’s downfall. The team was decimated by injuries throughout the season, forcing defensive coordinator Todd Bradford to turn to a number of redshirt and even true freshmen throughout the season. Competing for an ACC Championship was a tough task to begin with, but nearly impossible as injuries mounted.
It of course doesn’t forgive the nature of how the team finished with just one win over an opponent at the FBS level (their season opening Labor Day victory over a depleted Miami squad), but it has to be considered.
Another of the reasons why Edsall will return is well known. Maryland is in a LOT of financial trouble at the moment. The athletic department is on the verge of cutting eight varsity teams due to financial issues and has admitted that the football program must generate more money to sustain the 17 programs that will remain. With Edsall only one year into a six year deal worth $12 million, Maryland does not have the financial ability to get out from under such a costly deal.
The notion that Under Armour CEO/Maryland alum Kevin Plank could pony up the $10 million necessary to buy out Edsall is preposterous. Plank has become one of the most successful businessmen on the face of the planet buy making good decisions. Giving away $10 million wouldn’t qualify as such a thing.
(Just to inject here. There have been some rumors that Edsall would be a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars opening after the team fired Jack Del Rio. I think we can move on from those rumors about as quickly as they appeared.)
But money and injuries are not the only reasons why Randy Edsall will remain as the school’s football coach. The more significant reason why Edsall will not be let go by the school is because coaches who receive six year deals just aren’t dismissed after one season.
When Anderson hired Edsall away from the University of Connecticut, he absolutely did not tell him “if you leave the Huskies, you’ll have one year to make things work in College Park.”
Had Anderson done such a thing, Edsall’s response would have been something along the lines of “I would never leave UConn. UConn is my dream job.”
It’s safe to say that when hiring Edsall, Anderson made it clear the former Connecticut coach would be able to build his program as necessary, despite the success the team celebrated (nine wins including a Military Bowl victory, ACC Rookie of the Year in QB Danny O’Brien) the season before his arrival.
As Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant pointed out this week, there were reasons to believe Edsall’s reputation in Storrs exceeded his actual accomplishments. During an appearance on “The Reality Check” Wednesday on AM1570 WNST.net, Jacobs referred to something he had written in January just after Edsall’s departure from the area…
There was something unnervingly self-serving in Randy Edsall’s words in the month leading up to his BCS Bowl spanking. As he talked about all the milestones the program has reached since the days of working out of the trailers, Edsall wondered if there were any more notches in the belt he could cut at UConn.
The answer to Edsall’s question about notches in the belt, of course, was there were plenty left. And we’re not talking pie-in-the-sky national title. For starters, how about an outright Big East championship? Or how about getting to a BCS Bowl game where you aren’t automatically penciled in as a hopeless underdog the moment you qualify for it.”
What a mess they have on their hands down at College Park.
Or do they?
On the outside, it would appear they’re drinking from the fire hose, drenched in the stink of a 2-10 football season and completely unsure of where to go from here, with fans, boosters and the media chasing coach Randy Edsall with a pitchfork and demanding some sort of immediate improvement despite the fact that they season is over with at Maryland.
That’s on the outside.
On the inside, the turmoil might not be percolating nearly as much.
Randy Edsall is already working on next season. The recruiting window opened this past Sunday and the Terps coach was on the trail, talking to high schoolers about signing on with his program.
While the rest of the DC/Baltimore market continued to stew about the 2-win season, Edsall was too busy worrying about 2012 to spend any time lamenting the woes of 2011.
Frankly, that’s how most coaches are, particularly after a loss and/or a losing season.
They simply move on to the next game or the next season or the next challenge.
I don’t think Randy Edsall can explain what happened to his football team in 2011. No matter what he says, the majority of people who follow the program will claim he’s making an excuse.
And those folks just want wins…they don’t want to hear about losing and reasons for it.
So that’s why Edsall is off on the recruiting trail. Sitting around College Park and trying to defend his team’s horrible first season isn’t going to get him more players. It’s only going to put him further behind.
I’m not going to defend Edsall…and 2-10…and bad attendance…and home butt-whoopings from the likes of Temple and Virginia and Wake Forest.
There IS some defense for it, by the way, because Maryland – already young at some key positions on the field – was shredded by injuries from week #1 until the very last week of the season. But every team gets injuries along the way and to say Maryland’s first-aid kit was used more than any other ACC team would be excuse-making.
Injuries DO matter, though. Just ask the Indianapolis Colts.
In Edsall’s case, there’s only one thing that will prove he was the right choice at College Park.
Can he do it? Can Randy Edsall bring the Maryland football program back to life after a 2-win season and player defections and the general apathy and malaise that his team displayed over the season’s final month?
I don’t know the answer to that.
As a Maryland supporter, I’d like to do the rah-rah thing and say, “Sure he can!” but I don’t know if what happened this season is repairable.
There was A LOT of damage done, but nearly all of that damage was done with players that Edsall inherited from the Ralph Friedgen era.
This much I know about Edsall: His style is unique. He’s tough. He’s demanding. Some of his rules and codes of conduct seem a little too overbearing given the fact that he’s dealing with college athletes.
But those things don’t make him a bad football coach. They make his style one that you need to be willing to accept if you want to play football for Randy Edsall.
As Jay-Z says at the beginning of the song “Hollywood” — “It ain’t for everybody…”
Edsall’s style certainly “ain’t for everybody”.
And after a few years of Ralph Friedgen’s boy scout camp atmosphere, a lot of the players weren’t ready, willing or able to come to grips with the way Edsall runs his program.
Once the losing started, the majority of the guys who mattered on the field simply bailed on Edsall. They gave an effort…but as the final Saturday collapse (see next page, please)
LANDOVER, Md. — The University of Maryland Terrapins went through the motions lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 45-21 Saturday night at FedEx Field.
The good news (for me) is that I won’t be attending another Maryland football game this season.
That’s where the good news ends.
This isn’t the final game on the schedule for the Terps (2-8, 1-5) this season, but I’ll guess it will be the final time I offer more than a handful of words to discuss them. I’ll imagine most of you can understand.
I remember back in August I had a thought that the team’s visit to North Carolina State November 26 could have ACC Championship implications. I remember thinking that with the Baltimore Ravens set to host the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving night I would have my weekend free and perhaps a trip to Raleigh would be in order.
As you’d assume, I have no travel plans for my Turkey Day weekend.
I’ve paid my dues. I’ve showed up for every game the Terps have played this season in the state of Maryland. The first game (Miami) was fun. The second half of the second game (West Virginia) was fun too. There was no more fun to be had this season.
I don’t write this in hopes to illicit sympathy from anyone. I write it because I know I’m not the only one who has suffered through the misery of Randy Edsall’s first season in College Park.
There’s no way of polishing this. No lipstick here can make this not look like a pig. Randy Edsall’s first season in College Park has been an unparalleled mess.
That would probably be an appropriate way to describe Maryland’s effort against the Irish (7-3) Saturday night as well.
“We’ve got to tackle better, get off on third down, (we’ve) got to make third downs, we can’t drop the ball” Edsall said after the loss, but even that probably couldn’t fully describe the effort.
After inheriting a team that finished with nine wins (including a Military Bowl triumph) a season ago, Edsall’s Terrapins (with aide of significant injury) have been unthinkably impossible to watch in 2011. Not only has the team struggled to win games, they’ve failed to maintain relevance. Not even the return to the buzzworthy Under Armour “PRIDE” uniforms could generate interest Saturday night, as the 70,251 fans who packed the home of the NFL’s Washington Redskins Saturday night overwhelmingly backed the home team.
The home team wasn’t Maryland. The team from South Bend, Indiana played that role Saturday night.
It isn’t so far-fetched to have thought Maryland would struggle after their transition from former coach Ralph Friedgen to Edsall. Many first year coaches are forced to establish roots before they can find future success. There was hope Maryland wouldn’t experience those types of growing pains as they returned the ACC Rookie of the Year (QB Danny O’Brien) and many of the players who experienced a victorious postseason one year earlier.
The best the Terrapins can hope for at this point would be a 4-8 finish (3-5 ACC), but a 2-10 (1-7 ACC) finish appears more likely with trips to Wake Forest and NC State left on the season.
Making things worse for a team that has been awful is the unwatchable nature of the games they’ve played in the past month. Instead of growing as a team during the course of the season, this team appears to have taken significant steps in the opposite direction.