Here is my column that's running at The Washington Post --------
College football seasons seem to fly by in instants. One minute teams are sweating in the August heat; seemingly the next, they are wondering about wind chill factors.
Eight weeks ago, on a warm Labor Day afternoon in Baltimore, the Maryland football team ran through the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium surrounded by questions. After a horrific 2-10 season put Coach Ralph Friedgen's future in serious jeopardy last fall, Terrapins football fans (a rapidly dwindling number, it seems) wondered if Friedgen would still be the coach at his alma mater when the snow began flying this winter.
That question seems to have been answered: Friedgen isn't going anywhere. His team is 6-2 and has clinched a bowl berth. They are actually contending in the ACC's Atlantic Division, which may not be the same as contending in the SEC West or the Big 12 South but is nonetheless a step forward. The Terrapins began their season with little clue about how much better they would be.
They won that Labor Day game against Navy, 17-14 in spite of giving up 485 yards. Since then, their improvement has been steady though not spectacular. Navy is still the only team with a winning record Maryland has beaten. The other five victims - Morgan State (a truly bad division I-AA team); Florida International; Duke; Boston College and Wake Forest - are a combined 13-26. West Virginia and Clemson, the teams the Terrapins have lost to, haven't exactly been world-beaters: they're a combined 9-7.
For this group of players and coaches though, none of that matters. After humiliating the Demon Deacons 62-14, Maryland can now focus on achieving goals almost no one thought possible when the season began
Click here for the rest of the column: Terps may have saved Ralph Friedgen's job, if Maryland fans care to notice