30 Days Until the Big Ten

Rutgers University sits 30 days away from Big Ten membership, and ScarletReport.com is here to count down the days in style. We kick off our B1G countdown series today with comments from Rutgers coach Kyle Flood on moving into a premiere football conference.

Rutgers has zero turnover in its schedule, and 12 new opponents makes for a busy offseason of studying for the Scarlet Knights' coaching staff.

Leaving the American in 30 days, Rutgers sees an entirely different conference schedule. So many new teams means that coach Kyle Flood will shake up his offseason plans.

"I think the things we're doing to prepare for the Big Ten are really more in the rooms with the coaches as we do our preseason scouting reports on these teams to try to build our familiarity," Flood said. "You have a casual familiarity of what these teams do, but until you really look at them and study them it's hard to get the familiarity that you need."

Rutgers moved up its game preparations more than a month to compensate for the drastic schedule change.

Focused on preparations against Washington State, Howard, Penn State and Navy, Flood expects the coaching staff to be ready to go for training camp in August.

"By the time we're done with June, we'll have that to a point we're comfortable with," Flood said. "We'll certainly do more on the first third of the schedule than the rest, but we'll go through everybody on the schedule before we leave for the summer."

New NCAA rules allow for "classroom" time between the coaches and players during the offseason. Players are back on campus for summer classes, and can spend two hours a week studying with the coaches.

Flood plans to use the time to prepare players for new teams with the focus on Washington State in Seattle and a 10 p.m. kickoff.

"To have two hours where you can go in the film room with a player, we've scheduled this first month of the summer program so that we do that," Flood said. "I think that will have a positive effect on our team. I can't imagine there are other schools doing it much different than we are."

Flood views extra time as essential in building depth and knowledge on his roster to prepare for Big Ten teams.

"We're young in the secondary, after you get through the first group of offensive linemen we're young there, so there are a couple key spots that (the new rules) are going to allow us hopefully to give them one more chance to hear it before we get to training camp," Flood said.

The Rutgers summer program kicked off five days ago, with the players focused on the Big Ten.

"Every year the summer program gets tweaked a little bit," Flood said. "We examine it as a staff. The strength coaches examine it to make sure we're doing what the team needs. I think it's even a little more than that because every team is different.

"You're going to have certain players on the team that need to build their bodies. They're on a little bit of a different plan. You're going to have certain players in your program that need to drop some weight. … There are some adjustments to the plan every year. I think the real secret to your summer program is to make sure that each individual player is getting what they need."


Scarlet Report Top Stories