Saturday night was humiliating for everyone in Berkeley donning red, black, and gold.
Not at fault are the players and the fans. This one falls squarely on the shoulders of Ralph Friedgen. While it is cliché at best to blame the coach, this one is absolutely Fridge's fault.
Why on earth would you schedule a team full of new faces and with a brand new 4-3 defense to play a top 15 team? Was Fridge that confident? Or did he ignore the fact that Jahvid Best is probably the nation's top running back?
The loss to Cal was more than just an 0-1 mark to start the season. It is undoubtedly going to leave a lasting scar on a team that is still very wet behind the ears. For a team this young, the beginning of the season should be a time to establish weapons, like a No. 1 wide receiver and cornerstones of the new 4-3 defense.
It is not the time to squander a game against a ranked opponent—especially one that you have a significantly better shot at beating (or at least making the game close) later on in the season.
Games against teams like James Madison and Middle Tennessee State are the right way to kick off the year. Starting 2009 with a loss and your tail between your legs is not what Friedgen and company should do.
The only thing established this past weekend was that Maryland has one less game to lose and one less opportunity to boost itself by beating a ranked opponent. The team looked mediocre on national television. That is hard to rebound from.
With the games against JMU and Middle Tennessee State coming up, Friedgen should have a fairly easy time picking up the pieces from Cal, but the fact remains that scheduling this humiliation so early in the season was an absolutely moronic idea.
Maybe with the weight Friedgen is also losing some smarts...