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Deadspin Piece On The Terps

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Massive talent upgrade needed almost across the board.  Which we knew going into the season.   Recruiting momentum has slowed down though. Currently have a class just inside the Top 20, which is good.  But that ranking is largely due to the number of commits (21). Only three 4* or above players committed.   Could really use some on the field success to end the year.  Steal a game over one of the remaining blue bloods on the schedule.

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23 hours ago, birdwatcher55 said:

I know we beat Texas but this program looks about the same as last year: mediocre.

I'd say mediocre is being generous.   Of course, I think losing your first and second string QB will make a mediocre team look bad.  

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Injuries at key positions have obviously hurt.  The defense lacks real playmakers.  The offensive line, which many lauded coming into this season as potentially one of the best in the B1G, has been really bad for the most part.  Let's wait and see what we have in 1-2 more years once Durkin's recruits all take hold.  Edsall left a real mess for him to cleanup.

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Buh needs to go.  Bell I give another year due to the injuries. 
Just a really bad finish to the season that started off so well.  Recruiting momentum was already slowing down after that first year class bump.  Now it's coming to a standstill.  Really needed a bowl game. 

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On 11/5/2017 at 2:03 PM, Reboulet'sStache said:

Buh needs to go.  Bell I give another year due to the injuries. 
Just a really bad finish to the season that started off so well.  Recruiting momentum was already slowing down after that first year class bump.  Now it's coming to a standstill.  Really needed a bowl game. 

I wouldn't say recruiting has slowed much.  It's simply that the class is pretty much full already.  They've probably got room for about 3-4 more guys that they're saving for higher profile targets.  This of course assumes no flips, but we know that flips will happen, they always do (both for and against).  If they're able to pull off another Top 30 class that would be pretty impressive for this program.

They desperately need help at the D-line positions - they have guys there that have talent that they are redshirting that hopefully will help improve this spot next year.  And obviously losing both Pigrome and Hill was a killer.  There is talent there.  Whether or not this coaching staff is able to coach them up or not, I'm not sure.  I like what Durkin is doing, but it's a tough task to win here.

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7 hours ago, glenn__davis said:

I wouldn't say recruiting has slowed much.  It's simply that the class is pretty much full already.  They've probably got room for about 3-4 more guys that they're saving for higher profile targets.  This of course assumes no flips, but we know that flips will happen, they always do (both for and against).  If they're able to pull off another Top 30 class that would be pretty impressive for this program.

 

Last year they signed eight players with a 4* or above ranking.

This year they have three players with a 4* or above ranking.  And they don't really appear to be in a good position to sign anymore than that.

Last year they signed 5 of the top 10 players in the state.

This year they have three committed, and that's about all they look like they are going to get. 

Their class last year finished 18th.  This year it's on pace to finish between 25 and 30.

It's impossible to say recruiting hasn't slowed down.  That first year coaching staff bump is over, and they didn't build off of it.  The 30th ranked class might be nice for MD, but what does that get you in the Big Ten East?  3 losses and a battle with Michigan State to see if you can avoid a 4th?  This is a program that really needed to have some things go right on the field so they could build on the momentum they had with the recruiting class last year. 

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11 hours ago, Reboulet'sStache said:

Last year they signed eight players with a 4* or above ranking.

This year they have three players with a 4* or above ranking.  And they don't really appear to be in a good position to sign anymore than that.

Last year they signed 5 of the top 10 players in the state.

This year they have three committed, and that's about all they look like they are going to get. 

Their class last year finished 18th.  This year it's on pace to finish between 25 and 30.

It's impossible to say recruiting hasn't slowed down.  That first year coaching staff bump is over, and they didn't build off of it.  The 30th ranked class might be nice for MD, but what does that get you in the Big Ten East?  3 losses and a battle with Michigan State to see if you can avoid a 4th?  This is a program that really needed to have some things go right on the field so they could build on the momentum they had with the recruiting class last year. 

A lot of those 3 stars committed quickly and early.  And as I'm sure you know recruiting rankings aren't everything.  Regardless of the recruiting rankings, I think they got a lot of the guys that they wanted to get.  Most were committed before the season, so any results from this year have had little to no effect so far on the recruiting class.

Last year was also an extremely rich talent year in state, which the staff was able to take advantage of.  This year the local talent is not quite so rich.

A class between 25-30, for this program which has very little recent success and minimal fan support, is still outstanding.  You're correct that it's not as good as OSU, Michigan and the like, but it's unrealistic to expect that.  Maybe Urban Meyer could come in here and get kids like that to come to MD in the first 2 years. Maybe.  But that's about it.  Right now, MD needs to try to get to a point where a 7-9 win season is a good season.  If they get there, they can start setting goals higher.  

I like Durkin though I'm not all in like some are.  But he has to have one of the 5 toughest jobs in the power 5 conferences.  Trying to build a program that very few people care about, in a division where you have 3 NCAA blue bloods - it's just not realistic to expect top 20 classes every year right now.

 

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1 hour ago, birdwatcher55 said:

You raise good points but I don't think 7-5 and 8-4 seasons and minor bowls are too much to ask.

That would be a realistic expectation for the MD program most seasons, I agree.  This is not most seasons.  I think 7 probably was the absolute max anyone could have predicted with this schedule, and that would have assumed that we didn't lost our top 2 QBs and top defensive player.

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6 hours ago, glenn__davis said:

A lot of those 3 stars committed quickly and early.  And as I'm sure you know recruiting rankings aren't everything.  Regardless of the recruiting rankings, I think they got a lot of the guys that they wanted to get.  Most were committed before the season, so any results from this year have had little to no effect so far on the recruiting class.

Last year was also an extremely rich talent year in state, which the staff was able to take advantage of.  This year the local talent is not quite so rich.

A class between 25-30, for this program which has very little recent success and minimal fan support, is still outstanding.  You're correct that it's not as good as OSU, Michigan and the like, but it's unrealistic to expect that.  Maybe Urban Meyer could come in here and get kids like that to come to MD in the first 2 years. Maybe.  But that's about it.  Right now, MD needs to try to get to a point where a 7-9 win season is a good season.  If they get there, they can start setting goals higher.  

I like Durkin though I'm not all in like some are.  But he has to have one of the 5 toughest jobs in the power 5 conferences.  Trying to build a program that very few people care about, in a division where you have 3 NCAA blue bloods - it's just not realistic to expect top 20 classes every year right now.

 

1.  I don't know that.  To me, recruiting rankings are everything.  The numbers show that. You need elite recruit rankings to be an elite team.  You need very good rankings to be a very good team.  Good rankings to be good.  Etc., etc.  The numbers show that.  There are a few exceptions year to year, 4 year cycle to 4 year cycle, but recruiting rankings overwhelmingly matter.

2.  This year there are 10 players in the 247 composite with a 4* or above ranking in the state of MD.  Last year there were 9.  So by what metrics are you saying this year is a down year for elite players? 

3.  A class between 25 to 30 isn't outstanding.  You putting it in context doesn't make it any less outstanding.  Football is not played in a vacuum.  You have to beat other teams.  A class between 25 to 30, even if it's outstanding for "Maryland," just isn't good enough.

4.  Everything you're saying is true.  I remember I got in a long debate over the MD job with a poster on this board, who tried to argue it was a better job than the Miami job and other jobs that were opening that year (Miami is currently 8-0, and has a Top 5 recruiting class, sooooo).  I kept saying he doesn't appreciate how tough this job is.  So I'm with you. But that's all the more reason why you just kinda have to say, "damn, we really needed this to go our way this year."  It's absolutely true MD did not build on the class from last year.  Even if you want to say it's a good class for Maryland.  It's still not as good a class as last year's class was. They took a step back.  That's objectively true.  And MD reallyyyyyyyyyy needed it to be like last year when you're playing in the Big Ten East.  If you started with last year's classes, the talent gap between MD and Penn State/Michigan/Ohio State only grew over this last year.  And that sucks.  With a better year on the field, maybe an upset of one of the powers, the recruiting momentum would have continued.  Instead it took a step back, even if it's still good relative to MD.

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Well it appears we'll just to have to disagree on recruiting rankings.  I'm not saying they're not important, I just don't think they're as important as you seem to.  Which is fine.  Give me the right player in the right spot that the coaching staff feels they can develop into the type of player they need.

Regarding the local scene, listening to local coaches they will universally tell you that last year's local talent was considerably better and deeper than this years.  If all you're looking at are star rankings then I agree this may not be evident.  But perhaps some of those "4 stars" just look better because the competition they're against isn't as good.  Just a thought.  I'm not an expert by any means, but I listen when the local coaches talk about such things.

The one thing I will agree with you on - you're correct, "outstanding" is too exuberant of a word.  But to me a top 25-30 class is still a good class for this program, and is an "acceptable" result given where we are.  Frankly I see very little reason why a talented kid would want to play here.  I don't care what OSU or UM or PSU are doing, we have zero chance of competing with them right now.  Baby steps.  Let's get to a point where we're more than a pick-em against the likes of Indiana and Rutgers.

And without disrespecting anyone I can't imagine who would think this job is better than Miami.  This program is basically irrelevant and has been for the better part of my lifetime.  If DJD can build it up it will be quite a feat - before he moves on to greener pastures.  

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5 minutes ago, birdwatcher55 said:

I can't see Durkin staying here much longer. This is fast turning into a coaching graveyard.

Why not?  He's not getting fired anytime soon, nor should he be.  Unless he would want to be a coordinator at a bigger school I don't see why he'd leave.  I don't know the details of his contract but he's here for at least a few more years.

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6 hours ago, birdwatcher55 said:

I can't see Durkin staying here much longer. This is fast turning into a coaching graveyard.

You mean fired or him taking another job? 
It's wayyyyyy too early to fire him.  And he hasn't done anything to make him wanted by other programs.  At best the next upgrade for him would be an Arkansas level program.  But he hasn't done anything that would make that level of program target him. 

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16 hours ago, birdwatcher55 said:

I can't see Durkin staying here much longer. This is fast turning into a coaching graveyard.

Lol

We’re down to the 5th string QB.  Not many teams would have success at that point. 

He’s putting together a second straight good recruiting class.  Progress is being made.  Durkin is doing a good job. 

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On 11/14/2017 at 8:19 AM, birdwatcher55 said:

I see him leaving ..building his brand at a higher level program as an assistant. Personally I think we are way in over our heads in the Big Ten and have felt that way since we left the ACC. Every year I see us struggling to be 7-5 at best. Perhaps time will prove me wrong but right now I don't see much progress or improvement over the previous regime.

Playing in the Big Ten East sucks. But MD is in a much better situation in the Big Ten than the ACC in terms of path to winning. 
The Big Ten is:
Three teams with elite recruiting ceilings:  Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State. 

One team with a lower end very good recruiting ceiling:  Nebraska

Maybe two teams with good recruiting ceilings:  Michigan State and maybe Rutgers

The rest are teams with absolutely no talent in their states, and without the resources to go to other states and win 4* battles. 

The ACC has:
Three teams with elite recruiting ceilings: FSU, Miami, Clemson

Two teams with lower end very good recruiting ceilings: VT and UNC

And then a bunch of teams with good recruiting ceilings. 

Wake, BC, and Syracuse don't have much of a recruiting ceiling.  But that is the norm in the Big Ten, especially the Big Ten West. 
Playing in the south gives the ACC access to far more talent than the Big Ten, which makes it far more difficult to win in.

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