baltimoresun.com

« Lindsey Vonn makes 16-year-old's life | Main | Ravens 23, Steelers 20: far from just another game »

Edsall's comparing Maryland to UConn is way off base

Ever since Randy Edsall questioned the way Ralph Friedgen ran his program by intimating that there was no accountability for the Maryland players under their former coach, I have closely followed the statements the first-year coach has made to excuse his disastrous first season in College Park.


Most were predictable. How the Terps have lost seven defensive starters to injury, including a season-ending injury to All-ACC safety turned linebacker Kenny Tate. How Maryland is using a lot of freshmen. To his credit, Edsall finally began to take some of the blame after the loss at home to Boston College.


But nothing Edsall has said could be further from the truth than what he mentioned during Sunday's teleconference with reporters after another debacle, Saturday's 31-13 meltdown against Virginia at Byrd Stadium. Edsall said that what the Terps are going through reminds of him of what Connecticut experienced moving from Division I-AA to I-A under him.


Ah, the good old days.


About the only similarities are that Connecticut finished 10-3 the year before he arrived and as he did in replacing Friedgen, he took over for a popular coach in Skip Holtz. Sadly, the other similarity is Maryland's lousy record. After that, it would be like an NFL coach comparing his team to the first high school team he coached.

The Huskies finished 4-7 their first year under Edsall while still playing as a I-AA school in the Atlantic 10, a year after winning the conference, and 3-8 their second. They were 2-9 in their first season in Division I-A. I know the ACC is not the Southeastern Conference, or even the Big Ten, but it's not the Atlantic 10.

Connecticut didn't even play a Big East schedule until 2005, and, by then, it wasn't even as good as the ACC.
The expectations in Storrs weren't the same then as they are in College Park, where many fans figured the Terps to compete for a division title this year behind reigning ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien at quarterback, the tailback combination of Davin Meggett and D.J. Adams and Tate's leadership at safety.


O'Brien struggled in Gary Crowton's spread offense, was benched and is now sharing the position with C.J. Brown. Adams has been in the doghouse since spring, and Tate, after being moved to outside linebacker, has been injured for most of the season. I wouldn't be shocked if O'Brien and Adams lead the exodus from the Gossett Team House after the season.


The fans who were yelling from the stands at Byrd Stadium during Saturday's game to fire Edsall won't get their wish. If you think the school didn't have the money to pay off Friedgen after a 2-10 season in 2009, when the Fridge had two years left on his $2 million-a-year contract, do you think it can find $10 million for Edsall's remaining five years?


By the looks of things, the Terps are headed for another 2-10 season, and things will probably get worse.

Along with the number of talented players who will be leaving Maryland — also likely to include David Mackall, the defensive end from Baltimore who was recently suspended indefinitely for breaking team rules — next year's recruiting class could be the worst in recent memory.


Maybe Terps fans should listen to Boomer Esiason, the former Maryland quarterback who upon Edsall's hiring in January said tfans should support the new coach because “it's not his fault he's here” — a comment directed at athletic director Kevin Anderson's decision to fire Friedgen,  then hire Edsall over fan favorite Mike Leach.


How many letters of apology can Anderson send to Terrapin Club members asking for their patience? How many angry emails and telephone calls can Anderson receive before he takes his “good to great” mantra somewhere else? How many more tweets can be sent around the world by Maryland fans hardy enough to show up every week with pictures of a near-empty stadium?


Maryland now has a coach with a losing career record, since Saturday's defeat dropped Edsall's mark to 76-77. With the likelihood of cutting sports in College Park to trim what The Washington Post reported to be a nearly $5 million shortfall this year, I have a suggestion that goes back to Edsall's original premise about Maryland’s being similar to Connecticut.


It could fix the whole mess.


Perhaps Maryland should consider joining the Colonial Athletic Association — the Southeastern Conference of what we used to call I-AA — for football only.


That Towson-Maryland rivarly would be terrific.

Comments

Well said Don, randy is a horrible coach and the decision to hire him by AD anderson will send vibrations through college park for many years to come. There is a total disconnect between randy and his players, and like you said when everybody leaves at years end it will look like the NCAA imposed the death penalty. They should be ashamed of them selves down there for making just a horriblew decison.

This is disgraceful. Not only did Kevin Anderson and Wallace Loh act shamefully in their treatment of Friedgen and subsequent bumbling of the entire search process, not only are we left with a historically awful season in what looked to be a year with so much opportunity, but our coach has not measured up to his own stated standard of integrity. His facade of high-character leadership has been exposed as paper-thin as he scapegoats his players and the prior regime and regularly refuses to take any personal responsibility. And not he has the gall to compare the Maryland team that he took over- which won its coach ACC COY and its QB freshman of the year- to a 1-AA team?!?!

Edsall needs to quit with the excuses, quit with the passing-the-buck, and quit behaving in a way that pushes away any fans and alumni that might have otherwise stood by the program during this inexcusable failure of a season. Whatever fans he hasn't already lost because of all the losing, he is sure to lose from his awful behavior.

Unfortunately the school cannot wind back the clock, or else I argue that reasonable people wouldn't stop at merely keeping Friedgen. I think Anderson would not be our AD and, at very least, Wallace Loh would be given far greater scrutiny before being hired as president. This has been a failure at all levels.

I was willing to give Edsall the benefit of the doubt but I'm done with him! It's too bad that he and Anderson will totally destroy UMD Athletics before they are finally fired! If you thought the 1990's were bad, the 2010's will be worse! Boy, I hope I'm wrong!
BTW, where are all of the Debbie Yow-haters now? Be careful what you wish for!

Edsall interviewed well and Anderson wanted to make a statement even though he chose a coach with one successful small college season. Anderson wanted to show us, that big name guys available like Leach or Rich Rodriquez who had winning career records don't fit in under the new strict rules regime. Hooray, for us Terp fans! We were so concerned over facial hair, baseball caps worn in the athletic center, names on the back of uniforms that might make it fun for Terp football players and help recruiting. That was more important than winning. Anderson had a chance to put Maryland back on the football map. He has, but this is ugly.

I thought I was going to give up on my season tickets last year, but this year there is no other option. I have been a ticket holder for 21 years, but coach doesn't; know what he is saying. His biggest blunder was to say that Adams was not the best red zone runner on the team. How many TD's do you think that statement cost us?

Anderson is an embarrassment, Edsall is a bust and in the end the young men wearing the Terps (yes TERPS) uniform suffer. Many lessons are being taught here at UMD these days. It does not matter what you look like, it is about what you do and how you perform. AND hopefully the most important lesson is that accountability starts at the top. Thanks Randy for your many “its not my faught” and throwing people under the bus episodes. It has taught my kids many life lessons on how not to act and how not to be a man. And for Kevin, ironic that your “ask the AD” link has gone off line because you received too many comments. Man up, face the fire.

God, this is a great article. And regarding the Towson-Maryland game, remember that Towson played without its starting QB and could have won. Right now, there isn't a Maryland fan who wouldn't take Towson's Rob Ambrose over Randy Edsall.

cabterp, did you really suggest having Debbie Yow would be better? The AD that hired Duffner and Vanderlinden, drove the department into $80+ in debt and then bolted when things were catching up with her. As bad as this hire may turn out, I would never want Yow back at Maryland. Turgeon looks to be a solid hire and for Maryland it has been the basketball team that has been paying for everyone esle; I guess that won't change for a while. Oh and yes Edsall needs to stop talking, he needs to implement the no talking to the press rule to himself.

Remember Len Bias and the firing of Lefty and the hiring of Bob Wade?

Well, this may be even more disasterous to the football program...fire Ralph and hire Edsall.

Edsall has lost the team...they play with no desire or passion, they lose games they never should (Temple, BC), statistically all factors (offense, defense, special teams) are the worst in the ACC and almost the worst in the nation.

Maybe Edsall is locked in with that 6 yr contract, but please do something about the coordinators who don't seem to have a clue about how to use the players they inherited.

As a UConn fan, I'm really enjoying Edsall falling on his face. I certianly have nothing against the Terps. heck, I brought my son to the home opener a few years ago and had a blast. But Edsall is a scumbag. When Jordan Todman decided to declare for the NFL draft last year, Edsall made him get up in front of the team and tell them face to face. That's fair enough. But after the bowl game, he himself bailed on his Huskies and flew directly to College Park to finalize his deal with Maryland. He never did face his team to tell them he was leaving, and it's laughable to think that his impending departure didn't affect his coaching job for the bowl game. Randy Edsall is a jerk who doesn't practice what he preaches, and deserves all the losses he is earning.

Connecticut footfall fans have all watched how Edsell's first year @ UMD has become a disaster. We all marvelled at how he turned UConn into a good football program. BUT what upsets us the most is the way he left UConn. Edsell is a classless act that UMD should have picked up on immediately. Now you will have to live with this guy that you really can't trust. Talk about burning bridges.

Very accurate article! Edsall was OK taking over a program that Skip Holtz built and kept it moving forward. The point being is he can take a crappy new program to an average program. He will never take Maryland to the top of the conference. He is a crappy big game coach and plays not to lose or look to0 bad...he stinks! He is a contradiction.

As much as I am a Maryland fan and hope Randy Edsell succeeds, I have to agree totally with what Jerry and UconnFan78 wrote. One of my neighbor's son was recruited by Edsell to play at Connecticut. All the players were shocked when Edsell left immediately after the Fiesta Bowl to sign with Maryland and did not have class to come back and let his players know first hand. They heard about everything through the media and never heard from Edsell again. It was cold.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

ADVERTISEMENT

Most Recent Comments
The Burning Question
ADVERTISEMENT

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Baltimore Sun blog updates

 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected