Coach Schiano was on WFAN's mid-day show on Friday with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, and I caught it at the time. Parts of the interview covered the draft, spring game, and the 2010 season, but there were some interesting parts in the second half worth recapping.
On Big Ten expansion: this exchange occurred near the end of the chat.
Evan Roberts: If it's up to you, would you prefer to stay in the Big East, or is there some appeal of the Big Ten? ...
Greg Schiano: You know what, I don't think it's responsible for me to comment on...conference stuff. The conference stuff I'm gonna stay out of, because there's so much stuff going on right now, you really don't even know it. As I said earlier, I'm gonna try to have our team ready to play whoever, whatever games we're tyring to win.
Which is all fine and good, the typical Rutgers athletics non-answer on the subject. However, it's seemingly at odds with earlier comments Schiano made in the very same conversation, which were actually much stronger than what you usually see. It almost made me think that Greg was seething at Paul Tagliabue's comments, and trying to send a very direct message to Providence.
Evan Roberts: What are you thinking about these rumors about Rutgers and maybe a fwe other teams from the Big East going to the Big Ten?
Greg Schiano: Well, you know, they're certainly out there. I agree with you. I hear them myself, and, you know, one thing I've learned is things that I have no control over I don't spend a lot of time thinking about (oh really, Tara Sullivan). So, I know that we'll show up every year and play a schedule. So, whatever they want to tell me, I'm going.
They're out there and he hears them? I'm trying not to go overboard, but it's a surprise to even see Schiano acknowledging the possibility instead of brushing it off. And with all due respect, as Tara Sullivan noted yesterday, the idea of Schiano taking a back seat to any athletic department activity is beyond implausible.
There was also some revelatory talk on future opponents, which I didn't bother directly transcribing because the exact verbiage isn't necessary for this exercise.
- Schiano went into detail on his scheduling philosophy. He claimed that "no one" in the country is playing a BCS opponent every week. Which is true, but not the issue. Anyone hoping for a return to the days of two BCS opponents + Navy every year is probably in for some disappointment, because "most years" Rutgers will play one instead of two. I'll concede that teams around the country continue to water down their schedules, but that's not a very good defense of the decision to make 2010-style Rutgers schedules the future norm. Rutgers very well may need to sign another two or three for one like the Tulane deal to say, balance the 2012 schedule, but nothing more.
- He casually mentioned that more deals with ACC and Big Ten opponents will be announced soon. Is it possible then that the Duke series that David Cutcliffe mentioned could be on? Wonder how the local press feels about Schiano dishing this to an outlet that usually ignores or blasts Rutgers football. Uh, at least now they're playing ball?