If this column from The Diamondback is any indication, the Maryland students are ready to run Ralph Friedgen out on a rail.
Perhaps [Friedgen] dabbles in investment banking, because in what other field could someone fail so miserably and still be rewarded with so much money?…He has been at best mediocre while coaching this team, but great at convincing everyone otherwise.
Ye gods. I hate having to read between the lines of these nuanced student columns. The writer makes a really good point — that the team comes up with one or two marquee wins each year and uses those to distract from an otherwise disappointing season. But on the other hand, Ralph gets the team to a bowl every year. The students (like me) who suffered under Fridge’s predecessor, Ron Vanderlinden (now toiling in deserved anonymity as the Penn State LBs coach), never dreamed of that. If we had even made the Meow Mix Bowl powered by Kia just once, half of Prince George’s County would have found itself without at least one major utility, not to mention street signs. I’m just saying.
I think the upshot of all this is that Friedgen is now in a no-win situation. If they beat Wake this weekend, then ho hum, another W against a big team. And if they lose to the Deeks, then, well, they lost. We’re in the awkward position of having an opponent like N.C. State be a bigger proving ground than a ranked opponent like the Deeks. The cupcakes are now the big games, and if Fridge doesn’t run the table on the “winnable” games, then at least some of the unrest will carry over into (and become louder) next season.