Sunday, December 26, 2010

Negative Grohmentum Strikes Early

The media looks at a Maryland team with mediocre talent that went 8-4 all while: (1) missing Virginia Tech; (2) not beating a single ranked opponent during the season; (3) going 4-1 in games decided by one score, including squeakers over Duke and Boston College; and (4) being outgained by nine yards per game and says “Coach of the Year!”  Maryland’s athletic director looks at the same evidence, combined with the fact that coach-in-waiting James Franklin decided to stop waiting and took the Vandy job, and says “You’re fired.”  Is there a better illustration of the uselessness of coach of the year awards than that?  They’re a nicer way of saying “you haven’t recruited that well, but you managed to win a pile of close games so your record flatters your team.  Here’s a plaque!”

For the record, I like Ralph Friedgen a lot.  To the extent that one can tell anything from an interview, Friedgen sounds like a good guy.  His work at Georgia Tech under George O’Leary was outstanding, as were his first several years at Maryland.  However, the Terps’ slide since 2004 – Friedgen was 31-8 in his first three seasons and 43-42 over the next seven – leads to the conclusion that Friedgen is a great coach when someone else is recruiting for him.  Friedgen’s record illustrates the potential downside for hiring guys like Dana Holgorsen or Gus Malzahn: you know that these guys know how to scheme on offense, but can they handle the other aspects of being a head coach?  


Anonymous said...

Franklin recruited 6 of their top 7 recruits last year, and 4 of their top 6 the year before. He was clearly the primary reason for hope in the program. That said, taking the Vanderbilt job makes me question Franklin's judgment/sanity. That's the worst job in the country.

Bill_K said...

Again..with Franklin's recruits they did go 8-4 this year against Mary and her 5 Little Sisters...Signature wins were: Navy (Hey Rocky ..Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat..), N.C. State (OK win, but no "killer" instinct) and @ UVA (it's only because of a dismal record there that this counts)...Blown out by WVU and Clemson and ran out of gas vs. FSU and Miami. I love Fridge too, but this team was only marginally better (and much luckier) than last year's 2-10 edition. O'Brien shows Huge Promise, but T.Smith is gone and K. Tate might be also. If Leach is the MAN, he needs to secure the best local talent AND bring some Good Ole' Boys up from Texas. All Franklin did was help fund Fridge's Buy Out and set the stage for a complete overhaul. Maybe Franklin will return the favor and hire Fridge as his OC or not?