The Washington Times - October 27, 2008, 02:43PM

One of the truly underappreciated elements of Ralph Friedgen‘s tenure at Maryland is that the Terrapins have had something to play for in almost every game.

Friedgen has coached 95 games at Maryland. Only two of them could qualify as even remotely meaningless.


One was the 2004 finale, when 4-6 Maryland met 4-6 Wake Forest to quietly end their seasons on Thanksgiving weekend. Friedgen bristled then that it was a valueless game, but the fact is it really didn’t matter all that much —- which in retrospect made Josh Allen‘s devastating knee injury that day all the more difficult to handle.

The other was the 2003 finale at Wake Forest. Maryland already had its Gator Bowl berth, and had no chance of catching Florida State in the conference standings. A lot of teams would like to be 8-3 when they play their meaningless games, and chasing another 10-win season wasn’t viewed as worthless. So this one really doesn’t count.

Since things are stricter these days about accepting bowl berths and the conference title game exists, chances are there will be questions about Maryland’s postseason destination heading into the final weekend of the season. So no games devoid of value this year.

Let’s do a little comparison between Friedgen and his three predecessors —- and the number of games each had to coach when a bowl wasn’t a possibility.

Joe Krivak (1987-91): 7 (1-5-1)
Mark Duffner (1992-96):
10 (4-6)
Ron Vanderlinden (1997-2000):
6 (1-5)
Ralph Friedgen (2001-present):
1 (1-0)

—- Patrick Stevens