Friday, December 7, 2007
Keep Chopping Wood
In what Carton and Boomer on WFAN this morning described as "loyalty in an era with no loyalty," the duo broke news that Greg Schiano turned down an offer from Michigan to become their next head coach.
As a New Jersey native, Rutgers football had been generously described as "laughable" prior to Schiano's efforts to legitimize the "Birthplace of College Football." Hell, yours truly was even invited back in the day to attend one of their RU 100 prospect days. That should say something about their one-time inability to recruit top-tiered prospects.
Schiano's commitment to the school, his players, recruits and the state is admirable. Last year a fire-storm ensued following his contract extension that made him the state's highest paid public employee (Rutgers, for those who don't know, is the State U of NJ) after his refusal to take the Miami Hurricanes job. This has since been quelled by the success of the program, subsequent risen national exposure for the university and his inevitable success in recruiting, particularly in-state tallent that historically fled the Garden State for greener pastures of big-time programs.
Has Rutgers yet reached the promised land of being a college football power house? Of course not. But with Schiano's commitment in being what (paraphrasing) Carton and Boomer described as the antithesis of Nick Saban, it likely won't be long before we see New Jersey represented in a BCS Bowl Game.
In a state dominated by pro sports in which teams are either domiciled in a different state or too embarrassed to call themselves NJ (that's you GMen and Jets), Rutgers has given NJ and the NY-metro reason a reason to cheer on Saturdays.
Coach, in the words of the great Iron Mike Tyson, "I take my hand off to you," and thank you for your loyalty and commitment.