So now that we’re to the Closing Arguments, I guess it’s time for me to pretend to be a lawyer for a minute and write something in lawyer format. I wish I was writing this next week...but Randy Edsall happened to Maryland and here we are. At least for my sake, Randy Edsall is no longer at Maryland and there is hope that this writing position won’t be mine for long.
I. Case History/Opening Statement
A. Case History
So, I already touched on it above but Randy Edsall was not a success and therefore we are one of the opening acts. After splitting the out of conference last year and getting pasted by Ohio State, Maryland made the decision that they couldn’t stomach the rest of the season under Edsall and fired him going into the bye week.
After a tumultuous season following Edsall's firing, Maryland hired Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin as their next head coach. Durkin brings an intensity to Maryland that was sorely lacking under Edsall's tenure, which is something that Maryland fans love. He also is relentless on the recruiting trail that has led to him bringing in some top rated talent early on into his first head coaching stint.
B. Opening Statement
Everyone says to be leery of first time head coaches. Well, screw that. I’m drinking the koolaid that Durkin is selling and won't hear otherwise until he proves me wrong. So far he has avoided the mass exit that Edsall encountered, brought in transfers that were needed at key positions, the players bought in and, perhaps most importantly for the future, recruits are buying in as well. That could all change if they don't see on the field results this year but so far Maryland has the #3 recruiting class in the B1G and a Top 20 class in the country.
I caution everyone to be patient with the rebuild because it's sorely needed. Maryland is thin at key positions and some talent building will be required to get them back to where they need to be. Durkin so far is bringing in talent to fill those areas but this year could possibly repeat the last. Maryland is thin on defensive line past its starters, deep at LB but questionable on talent behind the starters, and the secondary is a huge question mark behind Will Likely. Let's not even mention the clown show that is Maryland's quarterback situation, which in all likelihood is the reason why they could either go 4-8 or 7-5.
A. What we've written about Maryland This Offseason
III. Emotional Plea
Bad things have been happening to Maryland ever since they fired Ralph Friedgen in 2010. It has to change sometime, right? DJ Durkin certainly fits the bill of a young and upcoming head coach who can turn a program around, but he's going to need patience. My plea would be to implore that the fan base have the patience necessary to see what DJ Durkin can build. The first year may be rough but there will be bright spots that show through and show his progress. The defense should benefit most from Durkin and company but the offensive line should show through as well with all of the talent that is there. Those are some solid building blocks.
IV. The Verdict
Here are the predictions of the infamous "OTE Writers":
|Aaron Yorke||5-7 (2-7)|
|Andrew Kraszewski||4-8 (1-8)|
|Brian Gillis||5-7 (2-7)|
|Creighton M||6-6 (3-6)|
|DJ Carver||6-6 (3-6)|
|Candystripes for Breakfast||4-8 (1-8)|
|Graham Filler||4-8 (1-8)|
|Jesse Collins||5-7 (2-7)|
|OTE Staff Average:||4.8-7.3 (1.8-7.2)|