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Program in Meltdown: Rutgers

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Note: This is part four of a four part series. Parts one (Louisville), two (Syracuse), and three (Pitt) ran previously.

Now, let me clear here: I am using this word "program" very generously when I talk about Rutgers.

So far, Rutgers has shown that it can win only when Ray Rice is in the backfield. Before Rice? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. They were Greg Robinson bad before Greg Robinson was bad. And that's tough to do (and follow).

Rutgers was quite simply the laughingstock of college football (see: Syracuse, 2008). Then lord-and-savior Greg Schiano took over and all was right in New Jersey (well, not all, but some). But very quickly, Rutgers has looked more and more like the Rutgers of old. You what else happened? Ray Rice graduated. Coincidence? I think not.

If you remember, I predicted all of this last year:

Sure they played in the first collegiate game ever. So what? That was like 500 years ago. If I remember correctly, and I think most of my memory is still intact after 7 years in Morgantown, Rutgers used to suck at football. Really, really suck. Hell, in 2001, we beat them 80-7…and that was a WVU team that won 3 games. Between 1996 and 2004, they won 23 games. Really, really the opposite of good.

Here’s what I want you to take away from all of this: remember Duke? Steve Spurrier turned around an awful Duke team and won the ACC championship in 1989. He then immediately bolted for Florida. Greg Schiano has turned around an awful Rutgers team, getting very close to winning the Big EAST championship. While he turned down Miami this off-season, don’t think for a second that an upscale program in less disarray won’t attract Schiano (cough, Penn State, cough). They are one coaching change away from going right back to being Duke…or worse than Duke.
Turns out it didn't even take Schiano leaving to do it -- it just took Rice. Or Ray's mom.

Rice's mom is the one on the left