The Washington Times - October 7, 2008, 05:49PM

I will admit, this post about Maryland’s record during different game times under Ralph Friedgenwas a bit ridiculous.

Didn’t think someone would come looking for a list of that sort of stuff again. Yet less than a month later – and two early afternoon victories over ranked teams – it has.

SEE RELATED:


So what’s a reasonable way to see if there’s a game-time trend connecting results and perceived quality of opposition. I could make this complicated, or go a fairly easy (though perhaps not quite as thorough) route.

I vote the easier path late this afternoon, because it at least takes into account performance against supposedly “good” teams. And if a team is ranked, they should be “good,” no?

So here’s a rundown of Maryland’s result against ranked teams under Friedgen, cross-referenced by game time:

Noon (5-4)

W, 24-21, N.C. State, 2002
L, 19-16 (OT), at West Virginia, 2004
L, 28-24, Clemson, 2005
W, 45-33, Virginia, 2005
L, 31-16, Boston College, 2005
W, 13-12, at Clemson, 2006
L, 38-16, at Boston College, 2006
W, 35-27, California, 2008
W, 20-17, at Clemson, 2008

12:30 (1-0)

W, 41-7, vs. West Virginia, 2004 Gator Bowl

3:30 (2-4)

L, 52-31, at Florida State, 2001
W, 20-17, Florida State, 2004
L, 16-0, at Virginia, 2004
L, 35-27, at Florida State, 2005
L, 27-23, at Georgia Tech, 2006
W, 34-24, at Rutgers, 2007

7:30 (0-1)

L, 35-10, at Florida State, 2003

7:45 (1-6)

W, 20-17 (OT), at Georgia Tech, 2001
L, 37-10, Florida State, 2002
L, 55-6, at Virginia Tech, 2004
L, 28-9, Virginia Tech, 2005
L, 45-24, at West Virginia, 2006
L, 38-24, Wake Forest, 2006
L, 31-14, West Virginia, 2007

8 (1-1)

L, 56-23, vs. Florida, 2002 Orange Bowl
W, 42-35, Boston College, 2007

***

So, that’s 6-4 in early-afternoon games against ranked teams, 2-4 in midafternoon games against ranked teams and 2-8 in night games against ranked teams.

Maryland was competitive in a couple of those noon losses, in all but one of the 3:30 setbacks and in pretty much none of the evening defeats.

When you start rattling off the 10 worst losses of Friedgen’s tenure – based on expectation coming in, how ugly it was, what was at stake – you’d probably go with 2002 Notre Dame (8), 2002 Virginia (5:30), 2003 Northern Illinois (7:30), 2004 Virginia (3:30), 2004 Virginia Tech (7:45), 2005 N.C. State (Noon), 2006 Wake Forest (7:45), 2007 North Carolina (3:45), 2008 Middle Tennessee (7) and 2008 Virginia (7). Perhaps 2006 West Virginia (7:45) and 2007 Wake Forest (3:30) have a place there, too.

I see one noon game in that mix. So maybe there’s something to the idea Maryland plays better at a time many of its fans want to be out in the parking lot tailgating rather than watching the opening kickoff.

And maybe that bodes well for Oct. 18, when Wake Forest visits for a noon kickoff.

But as for why? It’s worth looking into, but I can’t begin to definitely fathom why Friedgen’s teams score some of their best victories early in the day and suffer many of their worst defeats after dark.

Patrick Stevens