The way Maryland planned it by firing head coach Randy Edsall in the middle of the season, they would get a jump on the early search process.
But if everyone gets a head start, no one gets a head start.
Maryland barely got one full day to be considered the best open job in the country before two more coaching moves took place on Monday. USC fired head coach Steve Sarkisian amidst reports of his alcohol-related issues and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier announced he would retire, effective immediately.
And that won’t be all, come season’s end. Inevitably other jobs will open up that increase the competition for the pool of strong candidates looking to move up.
It seems clear that Maryland knows where it stands in the pecking order, though. A job opening up like USC doesn’t necessarily affect Maryland much because they’re not viewed the same way.
Southern Cal is Southern Cal in tradition, facilities, and resources. Maryland is Maryland and that’s OK.
We’ll have to see which other middle-to-upper-third Power 5 jobs open up and that will be the real test of how competitive this program can be in its search.
But it doesn’t mean that Maryland is without attractive aspects. Their four-star quarterback commit says he is committed to the school and not a head coach. Plans are in place for an indoor practice facility. They have the backing of Under Armour as its flagship university.
“My sense is when people see that we’re in the Big Ten. We’re in the big leagues now,” university president Wallace Loh told the Baltimore Sun. “It’s about football. Big Ten is not about basketball. It’s about football.”
Now we’ll see if the ensuing coaching search reflects that sentiment.