The choice of Edsall — instead of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, rumored to be a heavy favorite ever since Anderson announced that Friedgen wouldn't return in 2011 — is certainly going to raise questions in College Park because of Connecticut's lackluster offense. Even this season, when the Huskies started out 0-2 in the Big East after a 26-0 loss to Louisville, fans savaged Edsall on the message boards, with many asking that he be fired.
His critics in Connecticut often complained about Edsall's dull offenses, and his inability to develop quarterbacks before and after Dan Orlovsky finished his career in 2004. This year's offense, despite Todman being the nation's second-leading rusher, was ranked 96th in the country, 16 spots below Maryland. With the exception of 2004, when the Huskies were ranked 19th in offense, Connecticut was ranked in the bottom half of the country — three times 90th or below among 120 FBS teams since 2005.
Conversely, Leach, had one of the top passing offenses in the country nearly each of his 10 seasons in Lubbock.
Apparently, Maryland officials believe that Edsall can take the Terps to an Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a BCS game, something they haven't accomplished since Friedgen's first season. It is what Edsall promised in his first news conference at Connecticut and what he will likely say in College Park on Monday. In a recent interview with AOL Fanhouse, Edsall didn't sound like a coach on the verge of leaving.
"This is what I came here to do," he said. "You have a bucket list of things you want to do. When you look at what we've accomplished academically and what we've done football-wise — we've had first-round draft picks and All-Americans — there's only two things left. One is winning a BCS game, and the other is we haven't played for the national championship."
That bucket list will follow Edsall, the perennial candidate, home — or close to home — at Maryland.
Name: Randy Edsall
Hometown: Glen Rock, Pa.
Alma mater: Syracuse (bachelor's degree in physical education in 1980; master's in health and physical education in 1982)
Career record: 74-70
Syracuse — graduate assistant, 1980-82
Syracuse — running backs, 1983-84, 1986
Syracuse — tight ends, 1985
Syracuse — defensive backs, 1987-1990
Boston College — defensive backs, 1991-93
Jacksonville Jaguars — defensive backs, 1994-97
Georgia Tech — defensive coordinator, 1998
Connecticut — head coach, 1999-2010