The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are now without the coach who might be the best in the program's history, with Greg Schiano officially confirmed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday. Offensive line coach Kyle Flood has taken charge for the time being, but who's going to be the man long-te- ... no, first, we need to allow Rutgers fans to freak out for a minute:
Rutgers certainly should be able to find a new coach capable of finishing with a .600 winning percentage over the next decade. This is still a program with plenty going for it, albeit with the one gigantic lingering albatross of conference affiliation. You have a great local talent base, dedicated fans, an athletic department that's willing to do what it takes to win, there's the spotlight of the New York City media market, but paradoxically, plenty of patience. This is an attractive job for coaches - far more attractive now than scandal-tainted Penn State, or a Pittsburgh program that can't stop tripping over its two feet. Rutgers football will take some hits for a while, just like they did after a losing campaign in 2010. Nothing epitomizes Rutgers and New Jersey more than to always have a chip on your shoulder about proving the world wrong.
Actually, looks like Rutgers fans aren't freaking out at all. On the Banks has a lengthy list of relevant potential coaching candidates, from Mario Cristobal (yes please!) to Tim Brewster (no thank you!), and all appears to be composed.
It's also worthwhile to revisit the 2000 coaching search that turned up Schiano in the first place, when he took over the dilapidated Knights program against Joe Paterno's advice.