Keep Rutgers colors to the fore,
For they must win so fight, fight, fight!
And we’ll advance some more to score,
The Rutgers flag flies high tonight, alright, alright. -- The Bells Must Ring
Last year, the day before the delayed start of the B1G football season, I saw the guy around the corner had put out his Penn State flag.
Penn State lost that first game, 36-35, to Indiana.
The next week, the flag was out again. And Penn State lost to tOSO, 38-25.
The following week, the guy didn't put out his flag - I smirked. And PSU started the season 0-6 and I never saw the flag again, until.....
Amazingly, after the Nov. 28 win over Michigan, the flag came out!
I put out my Rutgers flag, too. And it's been out - consistently - since the day before the original date of the Temple game on September 2. Yesterday, I finally took it down, and it will stay away until some appropriate time. For now, we aren't waving the flag for football. The season ended on Saturday in Evanston, Illinois.
Saturday, by anyone's assessment, was a mess of a football game. With the exception of Adam Korsuk, no one on the Rutgers side came out unscathed from criticism for a bad performance. Go back and read the comments from the game thread or the post-game analysis by Aaron, and you can see that Rutgers Nation pretty much holds anyone who is anyway associated with Rutgers at fault for that loss and the current state of affairs in football.
Now, to be honest, I predicted a 4-8 season, probably with a loss among the non-con games, and two B1G wins. At this point, the four wins is still a possibility. But it sure isn't guaranteed, or maybe even likely. Illinois is a pretty bad football team. But so is Rutgers. Illinois will be coming off a game against Penn State; RU has a bye and a chance to recover both physically and mentally from last Saturday. So, maybe there's hope.
But for right now, I'm looking at a half empty glass, and it scares me a bit. There have been a few flashbacks to another era, and I'm not talking about Chris Ash or Terry Shea years. I'm talking about Greg Schiano v.1. Remember the horrific blunders with time management? Remember the seeming lack of "adjustments" coming out of halftime? Remember the bad decisions with a bunch of quarterbacks? They're ba-a-a-a-ack. Or maybe they never left.
When Greg Schiano was first hired, there were several meet & greets for alumni to meet the new coach. I went to a couple of them and my reaction then was, 'If this guy can't win here, then nobody can.' Greg Schiano said the right things, he had a plan, he was focused. Then he went out and got a couple of pretty good recruits to sign on to the plan. He got Nike to supply uniforms; Nike! Cool stuff!
And, yes, there were bad times to follow, as he picked up the pieces of Terry Shea's horror show on the banks. But then there were the wins, like the upset of Michigan State. A-a-a-and the flops against New Hampshire and Cincinnati. But we were going bowling! No, not the Sugar Bowl or the Orange. But it was the post-season and Rutgers was still playing. There was joy in Mudville!
Then the NFL came calling for Schiano and Kyle Flood was hired and Tim Pernetti even put himself on the staff to help keep the recruiting class intact. And then that went sideways. And then came Chris Ash. And that went even further sideways.
I didn't want Greg Schiano back when Pat Hobbs fired Chris Ash. I really believed that Rutgers was ready and willing to put up real money for a head coach and, further, that an established "big time" coach could be lured to Rutgers. That didn't happen, and ultimately I agreed that Schiano was in a good position to be the coach. The relationships he had with New Jersey high school coaches was important. He needed that to succeed, and likely no one else had that at that time. He had been around the block with his own self-reflection and spent time under Urban Meyer to polish some skills. Yup, he was Greg 2.0.
But is he? There were more than a few comments on this site on and after Saturday that questioned play-calling, why Noah Vedral was still under center, and how much independence Sean Gleason has as OC. Those points bring up a lot of Greg 1.0. I lost track years ago of how many OCs came and went at Rutgers under Greg Schiano. And when things were going no where on offense, why not try Cole Snyder or Johnny Langan? Have things really changed?
Look, I know Greg Schiano isn't going anywhere. And, as some commenter wrote, neither is Sean Gleason - not after our current offensive performances. And I'm still a fan. I'll still root for the Scarlet and where my Block R gear. I want them to win. But, it's still safe to say that this season is going to end probably around 3:30 p.m. on November 27. And it's just as safe to say that we can now take down the flag on the 2021 season.