Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 2/13/12

One of my favorite episodes of one of my favorite shows on TV, came to start Season 3 of How I Met Your Mother. In it, Ted and Robin had just broken up, and after spending a summer apart, Robin returned back to New York, with a new boyfriend in hand, Mr. Enrique Iglesias. When Ted had nothing to show on his end of the break-up (does he ever?), the gang came to one conclusion: Robin had ended up on top, and “won” the break-up. I mean after all, have you seen Enrique Iglesias?

I couldn’t help but think of that episode this afternoon, when word broke that Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien was leaving the program. He became the latest- in a seemingly never-ending list- of players to leave the program since coach Randy Edsall left UConn to take over the Terps job back in January of 2011. ESPN.com tells us the number is at 24 in total. Really it seems like 200.

Which brings me to my Robin-Ted moment.

As most of you know, I’ve never been a big fan of Randy Edsall. And by “not a big fan,” what I actually mean, is that “I can’t stand the dude’s guts.” In truth, I was happy to see Edsall leave UConn, and it was with pleasure that I named Edsall “College Football’s Dud of the Year” when the 2011 season wrapped. And with every word of a new transfer from the Terps program, I get a sick rush, especially since UConn fans (included myself) got ridiculed for being so happy to see Edsall leave Storrs one year ago.

At the same time, as a writer, it’s hard for me to keep piling on. Simply put, myself- and the UConn fan-base- won the break-up with Edsall. We were right. The public was wrong. Edsall is an emperor without clothes, and now the whole world is seeing it.

And the sad thing is, things seem to keep getting worse. O’Brien specifically is probably the highest-profile transfer yet, even if he’s not the best pure football player (That title probably belongs R.J. Dill, a three-year starter along the offensive line, who is now at Rutgers). Truth be told, even if O’Brien were to come back, he would’ve been in an all-out battle with sophomore C.J. Brown, for the starting quarterback position, as both split reps last year. Given that Brown ended the year under center (after an injury to O’Brien), it was presumed that he’d likely enter the spring as a starter.

But while O’Brien’s departure isn’t a killer from a football sense, from a P.R. standpoint, it continues a never-ending nightmare for Terps fans. In addition to O’Brien leaving campus, Edsall also announced that starting left tackle Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson will be skipping town as well. In total, that’s 24 players who’ve left the program since Edsall took over, leaving few supporters left for the coach who has been on campus for barely over 12 months. It probably doesn’t help that at one point, Maryland had James Franklin lined up as a long-term replacement to Ralph Friedgen. Franklin just finished his first year at Vanderbilt with six wins.

It also certainly doesn’t help matters that not only are players fleeing town, but they’re abandoning an already sinking ship. As Crystal Ball Run documented earlier this winter, the Terps were not only bad, but comically inept during the 2011 season. Their two wins came against FCS school Towson, and over Miami, in an opener at home, when Miami basically was forced to play their entire second string defense because of suspensions involving the investigation into booster-turned-convict Nevin Shapiro. Plus, as easy as it is to forget now, Maryland won nine games the season before Edsall arrived, and returned plenty of talent off that team entering 2011. Now they enter the spring of 2012, with a skeleton crew, and short nearly a quarter of a roster.

Finally, maybe the most concerning thing for Maryland fans, is that a lot of the finger-pointing that Edsall was known for at UConn has reared its ugly head at Maryland. Here was Edsall’s statement today after the announcement of the three transfers:

"I'm disappointed by Danny's decision," Edsall said in a statement. "Danny told me that he's not committed to our program, that he's not 'all in.' I want what's best for all of our players. Danny wants a fresh start elsewhere. I wish him well."

Now in a vacuum that statement isn’t all that bad, but with Edsall, everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt. And as a UConn fan, I can attest that statement highlighted our biggest frustration with Edsall during his time at the school: Whenever anything went wrong, it was always someone else’s fault. The head coach was never held accountable. To which I ask, would you ever see Urban Meyer, Nick Saban or Bob Stoops say something like that? Then again, maybe there’s a reason that nobody has ever compared Edsall to those three.

Just about the only true silver-lining for Maryland, is that last Friday they got a late commitment from the top player in Maryland in the 2012 high school class. That player is the dynamic Stafon Diggs, who chose the Terps over Florida and a host of other schools.

The good news for Diggs? He’ll have his choice of playing pretty much any position he pleases.

For all his opinion, analysis and articles on college football, please follow Aaron Torres on Twitter.


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