We’re previewing the college football season with help from SBNation.com. Today, Jon from On The Banks talks Rutgers.
Greg Schiano turned an afterthought of a Rutgers program into a perennial contender for the Big East title in his ten years as head coach. Kyle Flood replaces Schiano, who took the Tampa Bay Bucs job this offseason, and welcomes back 15 starters. Games at Arkansas, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are Flood’s toughest challenges away from home, but a Thursday night matchup against Louisville to end the season could prove to be a de facto Big East title game.
2011 Record: 9-4
2011 Bowl: Pinstripe Bowl
2012 Bowl Projections:
Orlando Bowl History
Q&A with Jon from On The Banks
Describe the 2011 season in two words.
Mean regression. A lot of people wrote the team off after a poor 2010, but Rutgers got back on its horse as the solid program it had otherwise been the past few seasons.
Will Kyle Flood’s fingerprints be evident right away? What changes do you expect from the new coordinators?
Flood is more of a player’s coach than Greg Schiano, and seems to be less controlling in many respects. He is not the type to micromanage even the locker room thermostat, as Schiano was reported to do. There is even going to be an open practice for the fans this year, which would have been inconceivable under Schiano, who was always obsessed with not giving opponents even the slightest possible advantage. Both of the new coordinators have pledged to continue last season’s schemes, which sounds fine in theory, but is not easy to evaluate until we start watching the teams play.
On paper, what looks like the toughest game this season?
The game against Arkansas in Fayetteville should be tough. Arkansas, of course, replaced Bobby Petrino with John L. Smith, which could give Rutgers a puncher’s chance against a team that was expected to be a preseason favorite in the SEC.
Does Gary Nova have a solid hold on the starting quarterback position or should we expect to see plenty of Chas Dodd this season as well? Who gives Rutgers the best chance to win?
Rutgers has to stop rotating quarterbacks and stick with one, whether it is Nova or Dodd. They are pretty close both in terms of performance and what they are showing in practice, but more of the tea leaves are pointing to Nova. He’s younger and has more potential for one thing.
Best case/worst case scenario for the postseason.
The best case scenario is that Rutgers wins the Big East championship and earns a bid to a BCS conference game, which is certainly a possibility with a wide open league where they are considered one of the favorites. The worst case scenario would be yet another bid to a second-tier game that does not have very much prestige, which unfortunately has happened to Rutgers very frequently due to the Big East’s sub-par bowl bids.
Thanks to Jon from On The Banks for helping us out!