Today's potluck item is soup. Yes, soup. You would expect that I'd give you some amazing recipe for Maryland Crab Soup but instead I have the following advice on that: Don't do it. "Maryland" Crab Soup involves using a tomato based soup with various veggies and crab, and quite frankly I don't think it's very good as all the acid in the soup base covers up the crab rather than highlighting it. My suggestion? Go with a good cream of crab soup. It's a bit commercial, but Phillips Cream of Crab soup never fails to disappoint Going with today's theme, we're talking DJ Durkin and his expectations.
Maryland hired DJ Durkin as its head coach along with Walt Bell as its offensive coordinator and brought in former Virginia head coach Mike London to coach the defensive line while Andy Buh takes over the reigns as defensive coordinator. Do you think that Durkin has what it takes to turn Maryland around and at least make them a contender to pull off upsets in the Big Ten East or usurp Penn State as the random contender to the top of the East in a down year?
C4B: I mean, maybe? Welcome to life in the hardest division in college football, where if your name isn’t Ohio State, you’re probably gonna have a struggle getting into contention on a consistent basis. To placate the state of Michigan, who I have so grievously offended, remember that Brady Hoke and John L. Smith used to coach your teams, and thus contention is not guaranteed, though likely. Everyone else, you’ve got a shot every once in a while, so you’d best not miss.
Al NamiasIV: Impossible to say. Michigan had a strong defense last year, as did Florida under Durkin’s tutelage, but Bo Pelini and Gene Chizik were once the hottest DCs in the country and how have their head coaching careers gone? A good coordinator does not a good head coach make. Time will tell with Durkin, though I do have more confidence in his success in College Park than I do Chris Ash’s success in Piscataway.
Andrew Kraszsewski: No idea, he's a first-time head coach. For every Tom Herman hot coordinator who rockets right to the top, there's a dozen guys who flame out once they're out from the good situations they were in as coordinators. But hey, if Rootjars is the sleeping giant I keep hearing some demented homer claim they are, Murrland's definitely an even gianter sleeping giant with Under Armour's backing.
LPW: A first time head coach (who’s roughly 3 years older than I am, damn I’m getting old) is always a crapshoot. Durkin does have an impressive pedigree, especially someone recruiting well at Stanford during Jim Harbaugh’s tenure there. Time will tell. Good luck. At least Maryland hired a guy with a good pedigree. The risk is that he can be a good recruiter and a shitty game coach. See: Hoke, Brady .
Speth: As an expert on head coaching changes, I must say Durkin is a solid hire on the surface. I mean it might not work out, but I don’t think it will be because Durkin isn’t a good coach. It will be because you’re a historically meh program in arguably the toughest division in college football. I think Durkin has what it takes to be a middle of the pack program in division. /puts on sunglasses to protect himself from scorching hot taek… As someone not much older than high school recruits, I don’t see Penn State as that much more desirable than Maryland. Fair or not, the scandals at the very least completely negate the tradition from national titles that occurred long before any recruits were even born. In my memory PSU is at best the 7th best program in the conference. James Franklin is a fabulous recruiter (and horrible everything else), but I see no reason to think that Durkin can’t be better than Penn State consistently in the not so distant future.
Townie: Ah, the joys of new coaching staff...will they? Won’t they? It will come down to how good the kids are today and how well they recruit. If the kids you have today are smart and ready, you could see quick success...but don’t count on it.
As for Maryland suddenly rising up in the east...see also Rutgers. I could happen, but historically it hasn’t.
Aaron Yorke: As a graduate assistant under Urban Meyer at Bowling Green and a defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, Durkin certainly has what it takes to become a premier coach in the Big Ten. He might even be better than new Rutgers boss Chris Ash, who is destined to become the very best, like no coach ever was. To recruit New Jersey is his real test, to build a program is his cause…
Okay, in reality we have no idea what to expect from Durkin since he has never been a head coach before and not every good coordinator makes a good head coach. We know that Maryland has the in-state talent necessary to make a run at the big boys, but Durkin first needs to show us something to make us believe that he can make a difference where other coaches have either stumbled or left before causing a long-term reputation change at the program.
Zuzu: I think Durkin has what it takes. However, will he (and the other factors in winning) actually capitalize on what you have to become a B1G contender? Nah. I think you reach... 78% power.
Stew: Overall, I think Durkin is a solid hire. I don’t think that’ll be enough to surpass MSU, MI, and definitely not OSU. Enough to compete with PSU? Yeah, sure.