College football fans all suffer from the same fear. Your school's football program matures and succeeds, then a top player bolts for the greener pastures of the National Football League.
Rutgers fans felt the pain when Ray Rice decided to leave last year. Now star receiver Kenny Britt is hoping to be a star playing football on Sundays.
The cyclical nature of college football does not allow a fan to truly become attached to a particular player. You know, deep down, that they won't be here for long.
You need to be a fan of the program, a fan of the school and enjoy the present but look to the future.
When Rutgers started the season at 1-5, it was difficult not to think about what might have been if Ray Rice stayed for his final year. I am confident that Rutgers would have played in a really nice BCS Bowl Game with Rice. Maybe the Orange Bowl?
It would have been nice to have Teel-Rice-Britt on the field. It just doesn't work that way. Very few college programs are immune to a bad season or a mediocre rebuilding year. RU ended up having a pretty good season and the fans know it.
What is in store for the Scarlet Knights in '09? There will be a new and inexperienced QB. The running game and O-Line will be strong. The recruiting class looks solid and they need to develop quickly.
The returning receivers are good but small. Who will step up and be noticed? I don't know. What I do know is that all the other teams in The Big East are worried about about the same things. It is college football.
I always tend to look forward to the next season with optimism. It doesn't matter if the season we just played was good or bad...I always hope for better things in the future.
For college football fans, the future is the only place to look. The Rutgers football program has momentum and the future should be bright.