I’m still a little bummed out about the NC State loss, and the ramifications for our season. It will most likely cost us a bowl game, but looking at the big picture, anything over two wins would have been viewed as a success in 2012. So for us to be sitting here at 4-3, with a very winnable game at BC coming up, you’ve got to be at least a little pleased. I mean as my writing partner texted me, “The one good thing about being so disappointed after the NC State game is that it means I care again”. That may be a paraphrase, but you get the idea.
Last year we would have shrugged our shoulders and said “Typical Maryland, Fire Edsall, Fire Anderson, and Fire Loh”. That is if we even went into the game. But this year, we care again. So I think it is safe to say even if we were to lose out the rest of the year, Randy Edsall is off the hot seat.
Which brings us back to his luck. You could argue Edsall has terrible luck (CJ Brown, Perry Hills, the Missed FG, etc…) but you could also make a case that 2012 is the absolute best case scenario for his career and future at Maryland. We came in with very low expectations. A shot at a bowl was a bit too ambitious for even the most optimistic of Terps fans, but now it could still happen (but it better happen by before November 10th).
And here is why Edsall is lucky. 2012 has given him every possible excuse to fail. We are too young, we lost our QB, we lost our 2ndString QB, we lost our kicker, we have two new coordinators. If we did finish 2-10 could you really blame him? But for us to finish 5-7 (which is my guess at this point of the year), that is a heck of an effort. Had all things been equal, had we pulled out the UConn game, had the Craddock FG attempt bounced right instead of left, why we’d be looking at 6-1. That is crazy!
Granted we don’t live in that hypothetical world, and you can’t take away what happened vs. UConn and the Wolfpack, but in a season where we were set up to fail, Edsall is turning the corner. It may be a small sample size, but last year when Edsall tweeted out anything from his account, you could go in and read people’s responses to it. It was a guilty pleasure seeing all the venom spewed in his direction, but now if you read the comments, they are supportive. We have turned the corner.
And when you stop and think about all the key players we have, and how young they are (well on offense, this year’s defense is totally an unsung hero and we will miss a lot of those guys in 2013) there is no reason to think we can’t make a bowl game next year. In fact I’m expecting it.
So as weird as it is to say, all the bad luck the Terps have experienced this season may have been just what the program needed. It took the pressure off of Edsall (something I wrote about when CJ Brown went down), and scaled back our expectations to the point where any small sign of progress was appreciated (like the WVU game).
Randy Edsall is off the hot seat for 2012, and as much as you may dislike the guy, this is great news for our program. We have the coordinators we can move forward with, and we are making some inroads with recruiting. And perhaps most important of all, we don’t have to pay a Football coach not to work for the next, we’ll say two years at a minimum. It may have taken a couple tough blows, and some bad breaks to some good kids, but we are all finally pulling in the right direction, and no program is going to get very far until that happens.
I guess in a way, we got some good luck by having some bad.