With seven wins already this season after going 2-10 last year, you'd think that Maryland would at least give some indications that coach Ralph Friedgen's job is safe. Whatever you want to say about Friedgen, it seems odd to fire him after a year where the Terps exceeded expectations.
Ah, but that's before we consider the thing that rules our world: the almighty dollar. To get a new deal, Maryland will have to, y'know, pay Friedgen. Throw in the expected $1 million roster bonus offensive coordinator James Franklin is supposed to receive after this year if he isn't head coach, and that's a lot of coin. Well, maybe not. But if new data is any indication, Maryland isn't the type of school to go crazy with their football spending.
According to a NCAA Fanhouse study, the Terps rank dead last in the ACC in spending last year. The Terps spent only $9.86 million on their program last year, 70thh overall, behind powerhouses like Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Indiana, Baylor, Duke, Wake Forest, SMU, Rice, San Diego State and Tulsa. That's a $1.9 million cutback from what they spent in 2008/09.
And yet, the Terps have won seven games and could reach the ACC title game. Does spending make much of a difference when you have a young team that just got a year older? No, maybe not. But it's something worth considering when thinking about whether the program is better off without Friedgen.