Rutgers Football Faces Another "Next Year" Season

Dani CaplanCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2009

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  Tom Savage #7 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights throws a pass against the South Florida Bulls at Rutgers Stadium on November 12, 2009 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Listen, I love how far the Rutgers Football program has come over the past five years or so. They have been to bowls and won almost all of them. That's a major step up from their previous two to four win seasons.

But when will they finally get over the hump of being a middle of the pack team who goes to a lousy bowl each year and become a major Big East Contender?

Greg Schiano has done a great job lifting the Scarlet Knights in his nine years as head coach. He has accumulated lots of talent over the years. And what do they have to show for it? Victories in the Texas, Independence, and PapaJohns.com Bowls, not to mention a bid to this years St. Petersburg Bowl. To an outsider, that run of bowl berths is hardly impressive. Isn't it about time this program goes somewhere?

Ever since the magical 2006 season, the expectations have been high for RU. They've recruited some great players and have been at the top of the recruiting rankings, including last year's top 25 class.

But ever since and including that 2006 campaign, the Scarlet Knights lost some key games and wound up one win away from a good bowl, and in some cases, the BCS.

After those disappointments, the Rutgers fan motto has been "Next Year."

Well, there's been enough of those "Next Year" seasons of disappointments and it's about time we start winning "This Year."

Look at Pitt and Cincy. Pitt was a nobody until two years ago and has quickly become a great program. Their "This Year" season has come. Cincy was never anything special, and, coming off their first ever Big East Championship, are a perfect 12-0 and have surpassed Ohio State as the top team in the state of Ohio.

So why can't Rutgers turn the corner and burst to the top like these other programs?

Is Greg Schiano really the coach to win the conference? He sure as hell hasn't shown it. I'll give him credit for bringing them from the bottom to the middle, but will that surge to the top ever happen?

I think that they have the talent, but for some reason they can't win ball games, which ultimately decides your fate. Players like Tom Savage and Mohamed Sanu are the kind of talents needed to win games. These two, along with other great young players on the roster, form a great foundation to be a great team.

From my perspective, they will be, "Next Year."


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