Linked in: Maryland daily briefing

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There are two things I’d like to point out during this slow week that comes just at the midpoint of Maryland’s football season.

One, the Terrapins are 4-2, and it’s not hard seeing them get to 7-5 (in typical Bizarro Terps fashion) and going to a mid-to-lower tier bowl.

Two, it just might be that no one really cares all that much.

Here it is, the Wednesday after a 31-0 loss, and so far the only local columnist to inveigh on Saturday’s debacle comes from the Diamondback. That’s no knock on the ole’ DBK, just another signal that so long as Maryland is on track to land in the 6-6 to 8-4 range, the Terps are barely a blip on the media radar.

I’ve said before that is a blessing for coach Ralph Friedgen.

And so here it is, four days later, and it’s Diamondback columnist Greg Schimmel who understandably wrote what amounts to the opinion version of my dead-tree edition, down-the-middle follow from Monday. And Schimmel’s points are valid and measured.

Certainly, at the core of a coach’s job is two basic mandates: Win and motivate. The first takes care of the Xs and Os angle. The second, as the Official Dot Com Diva would tell me, comes down to the Jimmys and the Joes.

So both of those facets should rightfully be re-examined at the season’s halfway juncture. Is the coaching up to snuff, and is it as good as everyone thought it would be? Are the players simply lethargic and disinterested at times, or are they simply not (to invoke Denny Green) who we thought they were, except in a few notable cases?

It’s tough coming up with the answers here, which is troubling when you’re job is to come up with an explanation of anything and everything related to a specific team.

The problems, such as they are, probably stem from a little of everything. Fixing one thing won’t alleviate all the worries.

As a result, we probably haven’t heard Friedgen wonder if he’s reaching his team for the last time.

Patrick Stevens

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