Q & A with TurtleDroppings.com

Chris over at Maryland fan blog TurtleDroppings.com contacted SFN this week about exchanging a Q & A about Saturday’s season finale. We were glad to oblige.

Below are the SFN questions (bold) that Chris answered (unedited). Go here to see the questions SFN answered for Chris.

Talk about those uniforms.

The uniforms have been an interesting topic of conversation. Of course it was much more popular when you could win a game, but still, they have been a hot topic all season. Let’s start with the pride uniforms. First let me stay I grew up in Maryland, so seeing the state flag on a helmet was pretty cool. Sure it is somewhat tough on they eyes, but to break it out for special games, I am all for it. As for the other 32 combinations, I don’t know. It’s not like we have a traditional uniform that we have worn for 100 years. I am ok with changing, but I think all the combinations get a little overwhelming. There are some combinations that should never be worn like gold on red. It just seems the kids these days are really into this uniform thing, so I guess it could help with recruiting (god knows we need any help we can get). As far as the other two helmets go, I am ok with them both. I just wish the Terps were more known for the play on the field instead of what they are wearing.

Former Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow is quite popular in Raleigh. She understands this passionate fan base and recognizes the opportunities we offer, but she also appreciates the challenges we face to shift the status quo culture of the previous administration stretching back almost two decades. The general consensus so far is that she’s been exactly the leader we need. We know she was less popular in College Park, and her ongoing feud with former Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams is well-documented. In your opinion was Yow a difficult manager or an efficient taskmaster? Was your athletic department’s financial turnaround genuine?

Debbie Yow left Maryland in a terrible position. She claimed she was balancing the budget year in and year out. However, she was actually using money from years in advance to “balance the budget”. Now Maryland is on the verge of cutting several sports if they can’t raise $28 million by June. She is public enemy number one in College Park. Well, I guess that isn’t totally true because Randy Edsall and Kevin Anderson (current AD) are also low on the list of most popular in CP, but suffice it to say, there weren’t too many tears in College Park when she left.

As far as her style, I think she ruled with an iron fist at times. It was her way or no way at all, and that rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. 95% of the fan base could be asking for something, and if she didn’t like it, it wasn’t going to happen. She just really didn’t care what the people that donated wanted. Maybe she learned from her mistakes at Maryland, but as far as I am concerned you can have her. Now, if we could only get Kevin Anderson to go back to Army!

Danny O’Brien looked like the Heisman frontrunner against us in College Park last season and was named the 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year. He began this season as your starter but soon lost the job to C.J. Brown, then got it back before eventually getting hurt in your game versus Notre Dame. Tell us a little about your quarterback situation this year, and what we can expect to see on Saturday?

The Danny O’Brien thing really has me lost for words. I would have bet the ranch that he would have really improved from last year to this season. The new offensive scheme was not the best for him, but he just wasn’t making the best decisions, and forced some passes into double and triple teams. He is the type of kid you pull for because he really puts in the work. Both Friedgen and Edsall have said they never had a quarterback more prepared and with a grasp of the offenses they had. Just not sure what happened this year. He just never got comfortable, and it just snowballed out of control for him.

As for this week you will get C.J. Brown and his read option, which is dangerous when he can hit a receiver. The problem is when a defense forces him to throw, he hasn’t been able to do it on consistent basis. He can be dangerous with his feet, but he really needs to be able to throw down field more. Of course the receivers have had a serious case of the drops this year, so it can’t all be put on O’Brien or Brown.

Talk a little about the general consensus on the transition to Randy Edsell. He did a great job at Connecticut and was obviously a hot name when you hired him, but he replaced Ralph Freidgen, who was terminated after he finished 8-4 and was named the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year. It seems that he lost support after James Franklin left to take over at Vanderbilt (where he quickly put together a Top 25 recruiting class). You opened the season with a win over Miami but it’s been downhill since. What does the fan base think of Edsell’s first season and what does it expect next year?

To say he did a great job at UConn is a bit of a stretch. He had a career .500 record. Sure he built a program from 1AA to 1A, and there is no knocking that, but that one season he won the Big East was not enough to say he was great or he was really a hot name. Kevin Anderson severely overpaid for him, and we are stuck for awhile as Debbie Yow left Maryland cash strapped, and there will not be a buyout no matter how bad the Terps are. He does deserve a chance to build his program, but in the meantime, he is losing players left and right, and destroying any sense of a program we had. The fans have had enough of the “we are improving” or “you don’t see what I see” quotes and tweets without any sign of improvement on the field. There are rumors to be numerous transfers after the season, and things are getting ugly. Players call the Gossett Field House GSP or Gossett State Prison. So you get the drift that they haven’t embraced all his rules.

The truth is the Terps were 2-10 2 years ago, looking down the barrel of a 2-10 season this year, and things aren’t looking any better for next season either. In the DC market place where the Ravens, and Redskins are here, those kinds of seasons are not going to attract any fans that aren’t die hards. I really bet we will see season ticket sales plummet and some single games that have attendance below 20,000 next year. It is really a sad time to be a Terp football fan, and I don’t see any sign of things turning around really quickly. That being said, I never expected a BCS Bowl, or any bowl for that matter in Ralph Friedgen’s first year, so maybe he is doing something right, but I honestly can’t see what it is.

I really wish Franklin the best. Hind sight being what it is, he could have been the guy. At the time, I wasn’t sure how I felt about him. Of course when Mike Leach’s name is being floated around, you tend to shift your focus away from Franklin. One thing he was starting to build was some really good local recruiting ties, but Kevin Anderson wanted his guy, and Edsall and his militaristic style is exactly what KA wanted apparently.

Maryland is 11th in scoring offense and last in both scoring defense and total defense. You’re not forcing turnovers and your offense is keeping the defense on the field too much. Like us, you’ve been plagued by injuries all season. In fact, the team traveled to Wake Forest last weekend with only 60 players (72 are allowed to travel). Can this whole season be blamed on injuries or is there more to it?

Obviously injuries are a part of it. But, it isn’t the only problem. You can also put some of it on players trying to learn a new scheme. The alarming fact is the defense is getting worse. There is no sign of improvement, and Todd Bradford really seems over matched week in and week out. They can’t stop the run, they can’t stop the pass. They can’t tackle in the open field. So take your pick. Call it lack of depth and youth, call it a new (also bad) system, or call it poor everything, which is where I tend to lean. The coaches have to get some of the blame here. Sure the guys are young, but nothing changes from week to week, and you have to think they would start to pick up some of the things they are trying to teach.

Maryland has lost its last six games by double figures. With everything thing the Terps have gone through this season, what do you think their psyche is with one final, semi-meaningless road game left on the schedule? Do you expect them to run through the motions against us or step up and once again play spoiler to Statefans Nation?

I think they will come out trying to win. Once they get down, it will go down hill fast. If Maryland can somehow get the lead early and hang on, it may motivate them. The problem is they haven’t really been in a game since Clemson maybe. I truly expect State to run away with this one, unless they are a little to high on themselves after the big win last week. That is the only way the Terps compete.

Now, enjoy your Thanksgiving, and if you head on over to the SFN Forums you can discuss the Maryland game, the Elon game or just to watch a video of Mike Tirico and Deon Sanders promoting the new GMC Sierra.

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'11 Football Debbie Yow Miscellaneous & Fun Stuff

33 Responses to Q & A with TurtleDroppings.com

  1. TruthBKnown Returns 11/24/2011 at 6:05 AM #

    State wins this one going away. No worries.

  2. mak4dpak 11/24/2011 at 8:56 AM #

    Again, if the team that showed up last week, plays, we are going bowling! Just wanna know where, Florida would be nice.

  3. LRM 11/24/2011 at 8:57 AM #

    Nashville vs. Auburn would be fun.

  4. johnwolfpack2003 11/24/2011 at 8:59 AM #

    Reading this almost made me feel sorry for Maryland. I think I’m gonna go throw up.

  5. bill.onthebeach 11/24/2011 at 9:14 AM #

    Fear the turtle-twerps….

    You can’t bet RED from HEAD to TOE.

    Hope everyone on SFN has a great Thanksgiving. We all
    have a lot to be thankful for !

  6. BJD95 11/24/2011 at 9:20 AM #

    Holy crap, I assumed Florida would be the team that fell to Nashville. If it’s Auburn, that would totally be badass.

    IMHO, Nashville should be MUCH higher in the pecking order. Wouldn’t you much rather play an SEC team in a great city like Nashville, as opposed to Big East in Orlando, or anyone in El Paso?

    Maybe the imminent implosion of the Big East will at least get CLT a more attractive tie-in.

  7. old13 11/24/2011 at 9:33 AM #

    So, which two Twerp fans do you think will be attending the game!

  8. TruthBKnown Returns 11/24/2011 at 9:43 AM #

    I’d rather be in Orlando, just for the Disney/Universal/etc. and warmer weather aspects.

  9. LRM 11/24/2011 at 9:47 AM #

    I’m betting Florida State vs. Notre Dame in Orlando.

  10. Dan Allen 11/24/2011 at 9:48 AM #

    Yow overestimated the md fanbase. She’s only half to blame for that. Also she took md on an agressive path but wasn’t allowed to manage agressively — forced to keep 2 coaches that needed to go.

  11. TOBtime 11/24/2011 at 10:44 AM #

    ^Dan Allen, I was thinking along the same lines. After reading the response from the MD guy my first inclination was to ask why did Debbie have to mortgage the future in the first place? Was it because expectations were not being met by current reality? It seems to me she was seeing the future pretty well and trying to keep it FROM becoming reality. After she leaves the moves she wanted to make are made (Friedgen & Williams) and reality sets in. The fanbase wants to blame anyone but themselves so of course Debbie gets the blame. Nobody complains about an iron fist when it works.

  12. ppack3 11/24/2011 at 10:50 AM #

    UMd fans bitched about Yow wanting coaching changes, and as soon as she leaves they get rid of both of their coaches! Now they’re bitching about the new coaches and the new AD! Maybe they’re just whiny bitches? That’s my guess.

    There are not many schools that come close to the disdain that I feel for The Ewe. The Twerps hold a close candle to that feat. I can’t stand them. I hope they choke on Edsell.

    As for Yow, who cares how they feel about her. I’d like to see the books, with regards to this Turtle Dropping’s (Chris’) assertion that Yow left the school in the red. I would be willing to bet that the numbers either are not that bad, or were created by coaches leaving/buyouts. Also, when you can’t draw fans to your games, it costs tons of money! Tons! Yet, it’s Yow’s fault? I’m just saying, I would love to see those books. I’m sure Chris would, as well.

    Kill turtles.

  13. ppack3 11/24/2011 at 10:59 AM #

    “^Dan Allen, I was thinking along the same lines. After reading the response from the MD guy my first inclination was to ask why did Debbie have to mortgage the future in the first place? Was it because expectations were not being met by current reality? It seems to me she was seeing the future pretty well and trying to keep it FROM becoming reality. After she leaves the moves she wanted to make are made (Friedgen & Williams) and reality sets in. The fanbase wants to blame anyone but themselves so of course Debbie gets the blame. Nobody complains about an iron fist when it works.” – TOBTime

    First of all, I believe you are way closer to the real situation than the Twerp. Debbie was nursing a struggling FB Program and trying to get a winner to replace The Fridge. She was met with hostility and a 2-10 season. Ticket sales have plummeted, and now your Athletic Department is struggling. Surprise, bitches! That’s how it works.

    “Nobody complains about the iron fist when it works.”

    This reminds me of TOB. When it doesn’t work, though? That’s the line he’s walking.

  14. TOBtime 11/24/2011 at 11:08 AM #

    You know ppack3, it just doesn’t make sense. The Terps complained about Debbie but then did EXACTLY what she had been trying to do within 1 year (thereabouts) of her leaving. Something was up.

    I’d bet there was a lot more fire to the smoke of her accusation of Williams sabotage than we will ever know.

    Speaking of coaches, that Sean Miller is really tearing it up right now.

  15. blpack 11/24/2011 at 12:08 PM #

    They are just always unhappy up there it seems. Looks like they are starting over in football and basketball. Let’s leave them in our rear view mirror.
    Happy Thanksgiving! Everyone be safe and see you at C-F on Sat.

  16. elvislives 11/24/2011 at 1:55 PM #

    Fun article to read, I enjoy the cross-communication between the blogging fan base. Both guys asked good questions, were humble yet passionate about supporting their teams in repsonse and respectful of each other.

    One additional thing I’m thankful for is the website interface of StatefansNation. That TurtleDroppings website looks awful compared to this site. Woof!

  17. pack76 11/24/2011 at 2:54 PM #

    Good job! I like the interface with the fan blogs as well. Interesting to hear of their opinion of Debbie Yow! The verdict is still out at State but I’m happy so far. Hopefully, she can toughen up the football schedules a little. Get rid of those Liberty’s and South Alabamas!!!

    Go Pack!!!!

  18. vtpackfan 11/24/2011 at 4:38 PM #

    Get a grass route Athletic Club like the WPC so you don’t have to mortgage athletics or go begging to UA and Plank. No one, I mean no one is ever going to feel sympathy for the Terps for anything other then Len Bias.

  19. WolftownVA81 11/24/2011 at 7:41 PM #

    Very nice. Enjoyed reading the MD perspective. I thought the SFN answers were very honest and spot on. Seems like their program is really a mess right now. As inconsistent as we’ve played, we sure haven’t had the kind of dissention in the locker room that they appear to have. That bodes well for a successful outcome Saturday. The more I read, the more I’m leaning toward being cautiously optimistic.

  20. Lunatic Fringe 11/24/2011 at 8:10 PM #

    The other Miller (Archie) is coaching against WF tonight. They are looking pretty solid so far. I still believe Dayton got a better coach than the one that went to GT.

    I have personally enjoyed watching Maryland’s performance in basketball and football so far this year.

  21. eas 11/24/2011 at 9:12 PM #

    Thank you SFN! The turtle dropping’s website looks like….well turtle droppings. I would hate to navigate that site everyday.

  22. Gene 11/24/2011 at 9:52 PM #

    Actually did a bit of reading, to see if Debbie Yow killed the finances at UMd and if we’d be in a mess in a few years. Found this bit interesting:

    “But the commission’s report said the economic model was not sustainable, and Loh said Monday that the athletic department’s deficit was years in the making. “We must live within our means,” Loh said. The accumulating deficit is anticipated to rise to about $8.7 million by the end of the 2013 fiscal year without action by the school.

    Part of the problem is that unsold luxury suites remain in Tyser Tower, the $50.8 million football stadium modernization project that opened in 2009. The Sun reported last week that university-hired consultants had surveyed area corporations and other potential suite buyers in 2004 and found “a very low level of interest.””


    UMd’s in a tough spot, they are a major, large, public university in a sports market dominated by pro-teams. They aren’t able to separate themselves from the pro-sports.

    The University of Michigan is in the greater Detroit area, for all intents and purposes, but is able to maintain their own identity and following in sports.

    For the life of me, I don’t know why Maryland sports doesn’t attract the level of alumni interest other ACC schools have. Maybe the cross-section of Maryland alumni I know aren’t representative, but they seem much more disinterested in the Terps than other cross-sections of fanbases I meet from other schools.

  23. 61Packer 11/24/2011 at 11:08 PM #

    It’s still Thanksgiving Day, and another thing to be thankful for is who we’ve Gott coaching our basketball team. I’m watching Arizona State, who’s down 31-19 to Fairfield at the half; F closed out the half with a 14-2 run and ASU looks like a bad high school team, with a frowning coach to boot. Took ’em 7 minutes before they got their first field goal- sound familiar? The winner gets Dayton and Archie Miller, who dumped Wake earlier.

    BC, Maryland, GT and Clemson already have multiple losses, the Tigers’ latest came at home to Coastal Carolina. I’m starting to really believe that good things are finally going to come our way in b-ball, and maybe even in football as we might get a decent bowl if we take care of Maryland Saturday.

  24. timberwolf 11/24/2011 at 11:14 PM #

    I hate the turtles. Personal axe to grind. F them. Step on throat. Repeat. Rinse.

  25. 61Packer 11/25/2011 at 12:03 AM #

    ASU update: despite an offensive outburst in the second half (25 points), the Sun Devils drop a 55-44 decision to powerful Fairfield.

    We have much to be thankful for in this final 30 minutes of Turkey Day.

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