The Washington Times - October 3, 2009, 06:46PM

One thing that’s always certain about Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen is where he stands on some things.

And when he was asked late in his press conference about whether it was important to get a win like today’s 24-21 defeat of Clemson to take some pressure off a slow start, he said what was on his mind – and probably what had been on his mind most of the week.

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“You know, I don’t worry about what you say or what you write,” Friedgen said. “I’ve been at this 41 years. It comes with the territory, know what I’m saying? But I like winning. I’ve won most of my career. I haven’t had many bad seasons. And I’m a competitor. So that bothers me.

“But I don’t feel pressure. If they don’t want me here, I’ll go somewhere else. I think I’m pretty well-respected in the profession. I had a bunch of Clemson coaches come up to me afterward and talked to me and wished me the best. So as long as I’ve got my kids, that’s all I’m [worried about].”

Safe to say we know how he feels about the situation, even if this is one of those cases where he simply got emotional after a game.

Such a post isn’t worth a bit without a recitation of certain facts, good and bad and neutral, about Friedgen’s tenure:

* His career record after today’s victory is 66-39.

* He was 31-8 in his first three seasons, 35-31 since then.

* Maryland had one bowl appearance in 15 seasons before his arrival; he has six in eight years since.

* Friedgen’s worst full season was 5-6; his three immediate predecessors trumped that twice in 14 years.

* Friedgen has two years and about $4 million guaranteed left on his contract.

All are worth saying, though none of them have quite the force of what Friedgen himself expressed this afternoon.

Patrick Stevens