Advertisement

Friedgen-Grobe parallels

It's interesting to note the parallels between Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen and Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe.

Both are in their eighth season, and both have taken their teams to the Orange Bowl. Both played in the ACC (Friedgen for Maryland, Grobe for Virginia). Both are in markets in which their programs can be overshadowed -- Maryland by the Redskins and Ravens and Wake by the larger North Carolina schools.

Advertisement

But here's a critical distinction:

Fridge won the ACC in his first season (2001) and his team played in the Orange Bowl. He led to the Terps to the Peach Bowl and the Gator Bowl in the next few years, then endured consecutive 5-6 seasons.

Advertisement

Grobe's career arc at Wake is almost the opposite. After enduring a succession of mediocre or losing seasons, Grobe's team had a breakthrough year in 2006, winning the ACC. Then Wake was 9-4 last season.

Fridge's early success created expectations -- and then some grumbling from fans when it wasn't duplicated. Grobe, by contrast, is still on his extended honeymoon. The fans down there can't get enough of him.

The more you win, the more pressure there is to win.


Advertisement