A hefty chunk of the semantics cudgel used to bludgeon Ralph Friedgen out of Maryland concerned the national perception of a clean, winning football team as low-scoring and milquetoast. To address the latter problem not at all, the Terps athletic department hired Randy Edsall. To address the former even less, they've pulled Gary Crowton from LSU to run the offense. Known for his slapdash playcalling, marked inability to utilize the little-known position of "running back" in schemes, and turning Jordan Jefferson into Reggie Ball, this is perhaps a splash hire in the technical term, but splashes happen lots of places they're not wanted. SB Nation DC is reacting politely to the hire, and they're kinder by an unimaginable magnitude than most Tigers fans would be:
Crowton has been the offensive coordinator at LSU since 2007. He started out well, but has come under fire recently for LSU's inability to rank highly in many key offensive categories. Poor quarterback play may have been a factor, but it did seem like his time at LSU was coming to an end. He also has been a head coach at BYU and Louisiana Tech, where he was known for running a high-scoring offense.
Quotes from the man himself suggest that's where the Terps intend to return:
"Coach Edsall offered me a three-year deal for $500,000 a year very, so it's a very good package. He wants me to install the same offense I ran at Boston College when we were there together (1991-93),at Louisiana Tech and at BYU. It's more of a wide-open style and that's very inviting to me."
"I never felt any pressure to leave. I always wanted to get better on offense."
Hang in there, kitten. For our Maryland readers who may find themselves puzzled at the grand plans unfolding on a gridiron near you next August, let EDSBS's helpful primer guide you to the ultimate understanding that it's your lack of a sense of humor, not Crowton's harebrained no-bake sets, that poses the problem:
[Crowton is] clearly some kind of poetic genius working so far above the bar set by other confrontational comics like Zack Galifianakis that the rest of us don't even realize what he's doing. The option to the short side of the field on first down after any substantive game isn't a play, man: it's a statement about people's invariable tendency to return rat-like to the same patterns over and over again even if they don't work.
Happy hand-wringing offseason, Terps faithful! Hope you like performance art.