This past season
Coming into this season Big Dog asked me what I would be happy with.
I told him four wins would make me happy. Five wins would make me very happy.
So why am I not happy?
I can give you three reasons.
One, the season is over, just as it was getting interesting.
Two, we won five games but could have won seven and gone to a bowl.
Three, there's a chance that BC will be off of our schedule next year. That means that they'll leave to go to the ACC, instead of having Rutgers kick their butts to the ACC. That is exactly what would happen if we played them next year.
Not fair, I demand payback.
Speaking of next year ... how do we stack up?
Considering that everyone on the team is a freshman or a sophomore, not bad.
Okay, not quite everyone is a freshman or a sophomore but a lot of the players are very young and very talented.
Has Rutgers ever had a better fullback than Brian Leonard? I have been following Rutgers football long enough to qualify for social security (almost) and I am not sure I have seen a better one.
Leonard is just damn good.
Has Rutgers ever had a tailback as strong as Justise Hairston?
I can name a couple who were that strong as seniors but Justise is a true freshmen.
Tucker and Moses at wideout remind me of many legendary receivers pairs that have played "on the banks". Dorn and Odell; Baker and Pendergrass; Young and Cobb; Guarantano and Brantley; Funderburke and Harper. Tucker and Moses are already in that heady company and they have just begun their careers. Add Marcus Daniels and Willie Foster and you have a downright scary bunch of wideouts.
I still think that Schiano has fallen short in the "big ugly" department. We are heavy on running backs and light on beef. Marcus Jones, a truly talented running back, sits on the bench every game. There are four running backs ahead of him! On the other hand if the injuries we had had at linebacker (where we are deep) had hit the offensive line (where we are not), it would have been big trouble.
Still, Schiano recruits running backs like they are going extinct!
There is time and space in
this recruiting class to fill offensive line needs and hopefully that is what the staff
will focus on.
What about QB?
I'll jump right into this debate.
I am a Ryan Hart fan. Hart does everything well except for two things. One, he can't go deep and, two, he throws too many interceptions.
The first problem is congenital. He hasn't got the arm strength. Since we are running an offense that concentrates on the medium and short passes, it is not really a problem. At least not in my mind.
The "INTS" are a problem but Hart is only a sophomore and he is a smart kid. By next season he'll be a savvy and experienced competitor and I bet that those interceptions drop by one half.
Ryan has the ability to find and hit the open receiver even when he has seven options to chose from. It was that type of ability that kept opponents confused all year long.
Could he be better at looking off open receivers?
Yes, I think so and as time goes on I think he will be.
Right now, I am in favor of
sticking with Ryan all the way.
What's up with Syracuse?
All the talk on the Syracuse board is about firing Paul Pasqualoni.
I have two thoughts on that.
One, why are 'Cuse fans dissing the improvement in our program. This "Pasqualoni firing" talk didn't catch fire until Rutgers kicked Syracuse's butt.
Hey, 'Cuse! It is no longer and embarrassment to be beaten by Rutgers. Period. You guys are acting like it is. I am offended by that.
Two, you should fire Pasqualoni and it has nothing to do with losing to Rutgers. Paul Pasqualoni is a good coach but not a great one. He lacks the innovative abilities of his predecessor and is not as good a recruiter. The Big East needs a powerful Syracuse program. Pasqualoni isn't delivering. He should go.
While we're at it, Pitt should dump Walt Harris. Has any coach in the league done less with more talent that Walt Harris? Next year without Larry Fitzgerald (NFL) and Rob Rutherford (graduation), just how competitive do you think Pittsburgh will be? I'll tell you how competitive they'll be.
All season long I made jokes about Pitt folding in big games. For the most part the jokes were prophetic.
The Big East needs a strong
Pittsburgh program and why the Panther fans aren't calling for Harris' head is
Beware of West Virginia
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC