During my time at the University of Maryland, I spent a lot of time at Byrd Stadium watching the Maryland football team. it was one of my favorite parts about my college experience. So obviously I had conflicting feelings when they decided to fire Ralph Friedgen, the only head coach I had ever known.
But after spending some time thinking about it, I think that Maryland (assuming they are able to hire Mike Leach as the next head coach) made a good decision.
While this was a good season for the football program by all accounts, it is also the exact reason why they needed a new coach. This was a surprisingly good year for the Terps. But with all the talent in this area, and the football facilities Maryland has, there shouldn't be any surprising seasons from this program. They should be good all the time.
Virginia and other schools are poaching way too much of the top talent in the area, and if there was some excitement around the Maryland program, there is no reason why that couldn't change. Leach has the kind of offense and program that makes top prospects want to come.
Add in the contract dispute that went along with this decision, and it's a no-brainer. Friedgen did an excellent job with the program, and it's always hard to say goodbye to a fellow alum, but I don't think Fridge can do any better than he has been. It's time to bring in a coach who can take the team to the next level.
Enter Mike Leach. Not only is he a proven winner, but his offense will put butts in seats and Maryland a major player (even if just as a novelty at first) on the national scene. With Maryland planning on expanding their stadium as soon as they have the funds, attendance is important now more than ever.
Friedgen can produce a team that has a shot at an ACC Title every once in a while, while Leach, hopefully, can produce a team that is top 25 annually. The truth is, Friedgen may have just reached his ceiling which means that it's time to bring in someone who can bring the program to another level.
Must reads from around the SB Nation network:
- Hogs Haven thinks that Grossman playing well in Dallas was a good thing for the Redskins, McNabb-wise.
- Bullets Forever caps off #ArenasTribute day with a recap of the Wizards win over the Bobcats.
- Federal Baseball with an update on the Nats' search for a starting pitcher.
On tap today at SB Nation D.C.: Chad Dukes makes his SB Nation D.C. debut asking if Redskins fans are willing to wait for a winner.