Rutgers Fans, How Can You Hate Greg Schiano?

Mike GurnisContributor IDecember 7, 2009

PISCATAWAY, NJ - OCTOBER 16: Head Coach Greg Schiano of the Rutgers University Scarlett Knights watches his team play against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers on October 16, 2009 at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

In 2006, Rutgers football captivated the imagination of all of the State of New Jersey, by starting out 9-0, pulling off a huge national-TV victory over then-ranked No. 3 Louisville.

Greg Schiano was applauded for his incredible rebuilding of a football program that had only been to one bowl game in its history prior to his arrival.

Rutgers lost two of their last three games that year to Cincinatti and West Virginia, and ended up going to their second straight bowl game. To some Rutgers fans, even the Texas Bowl wasn't good enough, despite Rutgers' breakout season.

Over the past few years, Rutgers has consistently posted seven or eight-win seasons, and have made four consecutive bowl appearances, winning their last three. 

This would be looked at as an incredible achievement from outsiders, considering Rutgers had only been to one bowl before Schiano's tenure. 

But to some Rutgers fans, the bowls that they make it to just aren't good enough, if it's not a BCS Bowl.

When Rutgers lost a close game to West Virginia last week, I went onto a Rutgers Fan message board afterwards, and I was amazed at what I saw. With Rutgers almost assuredly heading to the St. Petersburg Bowl on December 19, I saw fans saying things such as "Rutgers should just not declare itself for a bowl," and even one person was calling Greg Schiano "gutless."

So, Rutgers fans, after being so thrilled over your first bowl appearance in 2005 in over 25 years, now you don't want to go to a bowl game, because you've been to too many? And now that your coach has gotten you to places you've never been before, that you could've never dreamed of before he arrived, you're not happy with him?

Can someone please explain to me what the heck is going on?

Greg Schiano has turned a football program around that not only went to one bowl in its history before his arrival, but he also inherited a huge mess left over by his predecessor, Terry Shea. Shea was 11-44 as coach from 1996-2000. Do any of you not remember how bad Rutgers used to be? 

Look, I'm a Rutgers fan too. I'm not thrilled that Rutgers is going to another meaningless bowl, but hey, it's better than nothing at all. Things are a heck of a lot better at Rutgers nowadays than they were before Schiano arrived. And there's reason to believe that things will continue to improve, as Rutgers brought in it's best recruiting class ever this season, led by true-freshman quarterback Tom Savage, who believe me, is going to be a good one.

How anyone can complain about the job that Schiano has done, is beyond me. I went to a game at Rutgers earlier this year against Howard, and there were some ridiculous fans sitting behind me. 

All they were talking about was how Rutgers was not "a real football program," and were being so negative about the game. Rutgers went on to win the game 45-7, and I believe it was 39-0 at halftime. You would've thought Rutgers was losing by that margin with the way these people were talking.

With what I heard people saying at that game, and what I saw on the message board on Saturday, it seems like there is no coincidence. Rutgers fans have gotten way over their heads with expectations. Winning seasons and bowl appearances year after year just aren't good enough to Rutgers fans anymore.

If that's not good enough, then I'm curious to know what is?