ESPN personality, Terps athletics supporter and noted fan base evaluator Scott Van Pelt was in College Park on Saturday for Maryland’s 27-26 win over Virginia. He was happy with the result, of course. He was not happy with the small swath of students who saw it. Starting at the 35:30 mark of Monday’s “SVP and Russillo” broadcast, you can hear his rant on what it means to be a fan, and why Saturday’s 41,077 attendance figure was such a disappointment.
So Scott Van Pelt has been all over the news for his “rant” on Maryland U students not showing up to the game. After a 4-8 start last year, including 4 QBs going down and the Terps having to play a TE and LB as QB1, they have managed to put together a 5-1 season this year. Of the 5 victories, Old Dominon(1AA) is the only team with a winning record. Also, their single loss was a 63-0 defeat at Florida State. Their next 6 games are all against ACC opponents with a .500 record or higher, and their 6th win may be a little tougher than expected.
On this note, why is Scott Van Pelt surprised by the lack of students showing up to the games? They have only played 1 legitimate team all year (WVU has been terrible, I don’t count them) and now will face ACC competition. They also are not one of the better teams in the country, and in my opinion, have a rather boring football style(spread the field with those WRs!). If you’re a Maryland U student and have season tickets, why not try selling your ticket overpriced to Virginia U fans/students to make a few extra bucks and miss out on what you thought would be a boring game vs. UVA(pretty good game actually).
I expect the student section to pick up a little as ACC play comes to College Park, but this team, after last season and the beginning of this season is going to struggle to fill the stadium. Scott Van Pelt needs to realize this is not a top 50 team in the country, and that Maryland has been a basketball school(Last ACC ship was ’01 for football). The beginning of the Friedgen campaign had Terps fan excited for the future, but after 3 seasons great seasons, the team became very inconsistant. Edsall is in his third year and hopes to build off his teams hot start, but tough competition should keep the Terps out of the top 25.
The fan base will come with success, and after the sudden firing of Friedgen after a 9-4 season and 2-10 seasons in ’09 and ’11, the fans are still gaining trust from the program. Bowl seasons are the answer to lack of fan support, and it looks like the Terps are heading in the right direction, for now.
PS: Not the biggest fan of some of the recent Unis(Oregon too), need to take it down a notch. WTF is this?