5-6 overall, 3-5 conference, 5th ACC Atlantic
Against the spread
5-6 (1-5 home, 4-1 away, 5-6 grass)
7-4 (5-1 home, 2-3 away, 7-4 grass)
-.45 per game
Ralph “The Fridge” Friedgen took over as head coach for his alma mater in 2001 and immediately posted a 10-2 record both straight up and against the spread that included the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. He followed that sensational season up with another stellar campaign in 2002 as he led the Terps to an 11-3 straight up mark while going 9-4 against the spread. Yet another ten-win season followed in 2003 although the Terps slipped to 7-5 against the number and were not quite as dominant as the Fridge's first two editions.
The Fridge's recruits didn't seem to match what he inherited
An uncomfortable topic began to emerge at College Park and amongst the regular media and more savvy of college football bettors that caused the Fridge to become highly sensitive, if not downright agitated. As previous coach Ron Vanderlinden's recruits began to graduate, the Fridge's recruits didn't seem to match what he inherited from Vanderlinden and Maryland 's play slipped noticeably as the program developed more of Friedgen's stamp. By 2004, with a roster of nearly all of his own recruits, the Fridge's magic began to thaw into a flood of losses as Maryland finished 5-6 straight both straight up and against the spread.
2005 appeared to be a fork in the road type of campaign
As the Fridge entered his fifth season with a roster now complete with his own players, 2005 appeared to be a fork in the road type of campaign in which much would be revealed about Friedgen and his program.
Alarm set off early
Maryland kicked off the 2005 season in a neutral site game at Baltimore against the Naval Academy , who had taken severe graduation hits from the previous season. The Terps were installed as hefty 13-point chalks but allowed the Navy through the back door in a 23-20 win.
The Terps' next two games were at College Park with the home opener against ACC rival Clemson. Maryland was a 2.5-point chalk and suffered a heartbreaking 24-28 defeat in the closing moments. This was followed by a stunning 19-31 loss as 3.5-point chalks to a lightly regarded, (at the time), West Virginia team that was rebuilding with a lineup full of youngsters. Alarm set off early as Maryland was a most uninspiring 1-2 straight up and 0-3 against the spread.
A bargain value
While the general public had quickly soured on Maryland , they had not played all that bad despite their record. The Terps proved to be an excellent bargain in their next game at Wake Forrest in which they were a 1.5-point dog in a 22-12 win.
Maryland continued to be a bargain value in their next game as 3-point home dogs against a Virginia team that was down a notch from previous seasons. The Terps evened their record to 3-3 straight up with a 45-33 win and cover. This was followed by a 38-7 pasting of Temple as 29-point road chalks for a third straight win and cover.
Still a decent value
Maryland next hosted an ACC showdown against red hot and undefeated Virginia Tech, failing badly 9-28 as 10.5-point dogs. The Terps remained a decent value, however, in their next two games. The first covered at Florida State 27-35 as hefty 15-point dogs and then beat North Carolina 33-30 as 2.5-point road dogs. Maryland stood at 5-4 both straight up and against the spread needing one win in their final two games to gain a bowl berth and winning season.
A pair of “must win” losses
Maryland was to provide another valuable lesson to gamblers about the perils of going “all in” on teams in “must win” games. Maryland laid a Terp in their Senior Day home finale as 1-point dogs in a 16-31 loss to Boston College . With a winning season and bowl berth on the line at North Carolina State in the year's final game, Maryland failed yet again 14-20 as 2-point dogs as Friedgen suffered his second straight losing season without Vanderlinden's players.