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The immutable logic of Ralph Friedgen

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Coaches have to stick up for their teams. It comes with the territory.

So today,Ralph Friedgen was a pitchman for Maryland’s bowl chances.

To Ralph’s credit, he was realistic about what he was saying. But from a purely competitive situation, he does have a point.

“You have four teams that are 5-3 in the conference and then another four or five [actually six] that are 4-4,” Friedgen said. “Of those 4-4 teams, we beat everyone but Miami and we didn’t play Miami. As I look at it we should be no worse than fifth in the conference if you’re going to go by the same criteria that determines who goes to the championship game. I would hope that gives us a leg up.

“A lot of the bowls are concerned – and rightfully so – about people attending. A couple of them I talked to talked about location being a primary [factor]. If you do that, that probably doesn’t bode well for Boston College or us. Charlotte is a bowl that’s close by, and even Nashville. We’ll just have to see what happens.”

Sure enough, Maryland beat 4-4 Clemson, 4-4 N.C. State, 4-4 Wake Forest and 4-4 North Carolina, with 4-4 Miami not on the schedule. And as numbers-heavy as this place can get, I had not thought of it

Friedgen, though, isn’t always a seashells-and-balloons kind of guy. He will look at things realistically, and he knows it could be a tough sell for Maryland when a bowl like Charlotte could select a school like Clemson or North Carolina.

That could leave the Terps heading west to Boise – or an at-large destination.

“Right now, I don’t think we have a lot of choice,” Friedgen said. “We’ll go where we have to go. If we won yesterday, we would have had a lot better options.”

Patrick Stevens

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