We’re on a bye week. Chris Ash says we need it. At this time of year, teams are dinged up and a week away can cure a lot of ills.
For fans, too.
Remember October 1?
Remember October 8?
Have you stopped shaking a crying? Yes, after 136 points we - the fans - were dinged up, too. And that might be too soft an explanation of our collective psyche. We were in shock, and when a person goes into shock, they say and do strange things. Like this:
Back to back ineptness is the concern
I get the fact RU has played (now) 3 top-5 teams. The vast majority of us on this site expected the RU record to be 2-4 (0-3) at this point of the season. It’s the way we lost the last two games – just complete offensive ineptness – that has me concerned. Our wunderkind ‘O’ coordinator can’t figure out a way to get a few points? It’s obvious we’re running his "too bad we don’t have the talent to run this" offense – so why can’t he adjust to match the (limited) talent he has?
It has been noted on this site that a big part of Chris Ash’ recruiting pitch is "you’ll get the same great coaching here as you will at any other B1G school." Ummm, sorry, 56-0 and 78-0 – some of that has to be bad coaching.
I put much of the blame on Mehringer. You have to have a plan B when Plan A (the spread) is not working at all! And they likely did have some inkling that it might be this bad during the spring game and summer camp. Will Ash stick to his guns or try a different approach?
Yeah, there we have it. Time for a coaching change. After six games.
Thank goodness we have a bye week. We can rest and recover and recharge. And reflect on where we are and where we’ve been. Which brings me to.....
After Frank Burns was fired because he couldn’t compete with the big boys even though he had no budget, no facilities, and just his football mind (not to mention a 78-43-1 record), Rutgers went through three coaches over 17 years and had a 67-114-5 record. But no one damaged RU football more than Terry Shea. Now, this is a guy who knew his X’s and O’s. After Rutgers, he coached in the NFL for eight seasons and was a bit of a guru for the likes Robert Griffin III, Blaine Gabbert, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, and Josh Freeman.
But in five seasons at Rutgers, he went 11-44, including 0-11 in 1997 and 1-10 in 1999. If you thought Kyle Flood left the cupboard bare, Shea emptied the shelves and then tore them off the wall, taking whatever was left with him. So when then-Athletic Director Bob Mulcahy decided that Shea had outlived his usefulness at Rutgers, he went after a relatively unknown defensive coordinator from a big name program. And we all know how that turned out, right?
That was Greg Schiano’s record in his first two years.
And it would take three more seasons before he had a winning record, going 7-5 in 2005 and taking Rutgers to it’s first bowl game in 28 years. Life was good on the banks.
And that led, ultimately, to this in 2007.
The 11-2 season put Rutgers football on the map, and we were in heaven. We had reached the promised land. Look at that cover! We were on our way.
Between 2007 and 2011, Schiano’s teams went 38-26, winning nine games twice. But no titles, no major bowls. People grumbled - me included. Had he plateaued at RU? I thought he had, and maybe Schiano thought so, too. Before the 2012 season could be played - before that recruiting class could be signed - Schiano left for the NFL.
And we inherited everybody’s “nice guy”, Kyle Flood. And four years of wondering, leading to a 27-24 record, leading to being the punchline for every sportwriter who wanted an easy target.
And now we’re 2-6....
and on that bye week. It’s pretty unlikely we go to a bowl this year. We may not win another game. May not.
But who would you rather have at the helm of Rutgers football right now, Chris Ash or Kyle Flood? Too easy a question? Okay, try this one. Do you see more of Greg Schiano or Kyle Flood in Chris Ash? And does that make you feel upbeat or concerned?
It took Greg Schiano to his fifth year to have a winning record. And that time included losses of 50-0 to Virginia Tech and 80-7 to WVU. Along with an array of 42-0, 44-0, and 40-0. We were really bad.
And despite the Harbaugh thrashing and the loss to OSU, we aren’t nearly as bad now as we were then.
We just need a week off to rest and recover and recharge and reflect.
And then, with Indiana coming to town, to rebound. It’s all good, folks, just like Aaron said.