Clearly, not all is well in kingdom of Terp Fandom.
Under most circumstances, such disgruntlement could easily be replied to with “Wait a week.” Things do have a way of swinging from bad to good (and back and back again) awfully quickly in College Park.
Still, while this football season isn’t completely lost, it’s probably the most unpromising situation Maryland has found itself in during coach Ralph Friedgen’s tenure.
The Terps were 4-4 in 2004 and 5-4 in 2005. In 2007, they were 4-5 before winning two of three to earn a bowl berth. Hope, however fleeting, existed in all of those years deep into the season.
Friedgen said in reply to a question during today’s press conference “It starts with me” – as well it should with any head coach.
And so this lead me to what seemed a logical follow up: How would he evaluate how he’s done in the first month of the season.
“Obviously when you’re 1-3, you’re not going to say you did a great job,” Friedgen said. “I have no problem looking myself in the mirror. I put everything I had into this. I didn’t work any less. I really don’t think I’m any less of a coach than what I’ve always been. If you write a bad article, are you a bad writer? You have your good days and your bad days, too, don’t you? I’m not asking you that question.”
Friedgen was trying to keep his sense of humor about him, and for that he warrants some credit. The delivery of his response was anything but harsh.
But this is also true: If Maryland continues to struggle, he’ll receive a variation on that question a few more times as the season continues to unfold.
As Friedgen even acknowledged, it starts with him.