Embarrassing. Unwatchable. Emasculating.
Really, no amount of degrading adjectives would do justice after the laugher Rutgers was on the short end of today. One thing is for sure though, it is unacceptable, and it's the 4th time in a 12 game season that we have had to experience it. Don't get me wrong, only a brightest eyed optimist would think Rutgers was going to win today, or be a major contender in the Big Ten. From an outside perspective, 6-5 with a winnable game against Maryland could be considered overachieving with how many viewed this team at the start of the season. However, Rutgers fans have had to flounder in mediocrity far too long, and it looks like the program, as a whole, accepts it. The "bowl eligible" email I received no more than 20 minutes after the Indiana game speaks to that. The way the players and the staff were talking about getting a 6th win you would think they were already preparing for the bowl game. Shit, you would think they were preparing for the 4 team playoff. Too many pats on the back for a middle of the road Big Ten team.
Like I said before, prior to the season I would have signed up for where we are at right now. However, the way in which they are doing it is beyond discouraging. They now have taken faced four huge in-conference tests, and they have failed everyone in a resoundingly miserable fashion. I don't mind losing when we are overmatched talent wise, but I refuse to accept quitting. Make no mistake, in at least 3 of the 4 big conference games the players on the field quit. Having watched a lot of Big Ten games this year, I have watched mediocre teams hang with the best the conference has to offer. I watched an Indiana team, which got smoked by Rutgers last week, hang with Ohio State, which beat Rutgers by approximately 85 points, for the better part of 4 quarters. It is not ridiculous to expect Rutgers to be competitive with every team in this conference. These failures, either justly or unjustly, fall on the shoulders of head coach Kyle Flood and his staff.
Kyle Flood, in a lot of ways, reminds me of a mild mannered Rex Ryan. He certainly is more politically correct and no one will mistake him for a defensive genius, but he is a players coach. All these players will speak highly of him, no matter what kind of loss they are coming off of. While that may be good in some ways, it certainly isn't translating on the field. No matter how much they love the coach, they quit on him halfway throughout the first quarter today. That's why it is a mistake to keep him at the helm. There is close to a 0% chance that he is fired and it is going to result in a very similar season next year. Unlike Rex, the lack of talent on this team is a result of the head coach. That's just part of recruiting and college coaching. Put the cliches and the "just trying to go 1-0 this week" to rest, it's grown tiresome. I am a fan through and through and I turned today's game off at halftime. If they aren't going to show up, neither am I. Today's performance was reminiscent of last years game against UCF. No offense, no attempt at tackling, overall disinterest. Like it or not, that falls on the figurehead of the program, Kyle Flood. This program's commitment to mediocrity is nauseating. I like Kyle Flood, as a person, as much as the next guy. However, when you are a coach of a college football team you are in the business of winning, and someone has to pay for the continued struggles of this Rutgers team. Blowing smoke up the ass of the fan base doesn't change the numbers on the scoreboard, and the numbers today painted them as a bad football team.