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The worst loss of Ralph's tenure?

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First of all, much respect to Middle Tennessee and coach Rick Stockstill for collecting what was probably one of the most exciting victories in the school’s history tonight.

But let’s return to some facts: The Blue Raiders were badly undermanned. And Maryland, had it played remotely well, should not have lost to them.

And so falling to a Middle Tennessee team that could easily be on its way to 5-7 or 6-6 might constitute the worst loss in the Ralph Friedgen era. Here are the other contenders:

* In 2003, the Terps lost 20-13 in overtime at Northern Illinois. But the Huskies were actually good, and had a star in Michael Turner. In retrospect, that loss didn’t look so bad.

* In 2004, the Terps ran for 67 yards, threw for 24 yards and lost 13-3 to N.C. State. The Wolfpack, like Maryland, finished 5-6 that season.

* In 2007, the injury-riddled Terps scuffled to a 16-13 loss at North Carolina. The Tar Heels finished 4-8, the worst record for a team Maryland lost to since the Terps fell to a 3-8 Duke squad in 1999.

So what’s the answer? The vote here goes to tonight’s debacle, even if it wasn’t as inept as that N.C. State loss four years ago. Maryland had already started to be exposed by that game in ‘04, and that loss just re-inforced things had changed from three straight 10-win seasons.

Any thoughts on this one?

More coming tomorrow.

Patrick Stevens

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