Crash and Burn

I didn't get to see the game yesterday but my phone rang off the hook just after it was over.

This is the word I got from those who saw it: there are two problems.

Coaching and coaching.

With two weeks to prepare for Navy's option, the team was not remotely ready for Navy's option.

That was the good news.

The bad news was that the team fell apart in just about every way imaginable.

Give credit to Greg Schiano. He took responsibility; not all coaches will.

After the game he said:

"Our players gave good effort and our coaches gave good effort," he said softly. "We just didn't coach very well and we didn't play very well."

But will that acknowledgement equate into changes in the football program?

It should.

In the off season Schiano should do some major housecleaning, heads should roll on the assistant staff and a mentor should be brought in. This team has the talent and Schiano has the drive and character to pull this rebuilding job out of the fire, but Rutgers' game day performance must change.

I think even Greg Schiano knows that now.


Bob Mulcahy

Bob Mulcahy got a five year extension on his contract. I think it is well deserved. Rutgers facilities are now truly "big time" and Bob gets a lot of credit getting them there. He is a savvy administrator and the New Big East will benefit from his skills in the troubling years ahead. Rutgers will also benefit from Bob's tireless work and big time connections.

One thing Bob shouldn't do, however, is give Greg Schiano a contract extension or a raise. No offense to Greg, but if he wants out, let him go. With the talent on hand in this program Mulcahy could find an experienced head coach who would take Rutgers to a bowl in "Year One" of his tenure.

On the other hand, if Mulcahy gives in to a raise and extension what happens if next year's team also crashes and burns?

What happens? Schiano's recruiting would probably go into the crapper and Rutgers fans would be left to a long term commitment to "same ole Rutgers" ... at twice the price.

This isn't meant be a knock against Greg. I still think he can get the job done. However, after watching this past year of football at Rutgers, a raise or an extension shouldn't even be on the table for discussion.


Black Saturday

Last Saturday was "Black Saturday" for the Big East. Syracuse was beaten by the soon to be departed Temple Owls. West Virginia was blown out by Boston College, giving the ACC bound Eagles a legitimate shot at the Big East's BCS bid.

The Eagles shot at the BCS bid is the worst.

ESPN's Big East hating Trev Alberts is just drooling at the opportunity to say, "Boston College got the Big East's BCS bid proving that they were the only good team left in that league. Of course that's not for long. The Eagles will be in the new super ACC conference next year."


One thing could happen for the Big East to avoid this catastrophe.

Syracuse has to beat Boston College next week. I have seen both teams play a number of times this year. They are pretty closely matched but, unfortunately, the Orange don't play well on the road. Additionally, BC has been stronger in its play of late; Syracuse has been weaker. The Orange could beat the Eagles but I wouldn't take it to the bank.

If they did that, it could still leave Boston College tied for the Big East championship if Pitt defeats WVU. However, if that happens Pitt goes to the BCS bowl since they beat BC in the regular season.

Still, I hold little hope for avoiding a major embarrassment to the league.


The Utah Rule

Years ago, the BCS adopted the "Big East Rule". It was a rule that was meant to keep the Big East out of major post season play. The rule specified that conference winners had to average in the top twelve in order to keep them eligible for BCS contention.

Two weeks ago I wrote about how the rule is coming back to bite the ACC in the butt. I wrote that there was a good chance that they would end up with no one in the top twelve.

Well, lookey here. Last night the ACC's last remaining "top twelve" team, Florida State, lost to Florida by a score of 20-13. As of tomorrow's poll there should be no ACC team qualifying to keep the team in the BCS. Of course, one year's absence from the top twelve won't get them booted out, still it's fun to see.

Of course, it is not just the ACC that's having problems qualifying. The Big Ten's two big guns, Wisconsin and Michigan, both lost yesterday. Both of them should drop past the twelve spot when the new polls come out.

Eventually, it seems, the entire college football schedule throughout America will serve no other purpose than making Utah the only BCS qualified team in the nation.


Syracuse vs Boston College - Redux

Does any game this season have more riding on it than this one? If Syracuse wins, Paul Pasqualoni has a chance to stay as head coach at Syracuse and BC will be out of the BCS picture. If Syracuse loses Pasqualoni is almost certainly gone. I hear rumblings from Syracuse of major changes there now that athletic director Jake Crouthamel has retired.

Rumors have it that there will be a major shake up in football, possibly with the Orange opening the bank to bring in a high profile coach.

Folks at Syracuse have little patience with being a mid major program. A loss to Boston College on Saturday and yet another "bowl-less" football season could be a prelude to an upheaval in Syracuse football and yet another shift in the power structure of football in the east.

One thing about Big East football, it is never boring.



Two of the three new Big East football members are now bowl qualified. Louisville qualified easily and is knocking on the BCS door. The Cards are ranked number 8 and 11 in the two major polls and their position will probably rise after yesterday's upsets of Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida State. Yesterday, the Cards beat Houston. Louisville is now 8-1 and should win out.

Cincinnati beat USF 45-23 yesterday to bowl qualify.

These two teams can't get here fast enough.

Mike Fasano

Mike and the Big Dog's LLC

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