Maybe it was just a coincidence that rain steadily poured down on the remaining few proud Rutgers fans that stayed for the culmination of the collapse on Saturday. However, the weather was somehow poetic in watching the eventual end of the unmitigated disaster that the Kyle Flood era has become. It wouldn't have felt right watching him sprint off the field, for the last time, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. The depressing, cold, damp atmosphere somehow felt like it was a sign of the black could that has hung over this football program since early August.
I don't think Kyle Flood is a bad guy. I don't even think he is a bad football coach. He is, on the other hand, unquestionably a bad HEAD football coach. He has been in over his head from day one, and while that was masked by a successful inaugural season in the Big Ten, it really became more evident with each and every passing day this year. Whether it was academic scandals, or player arrests, or just an overall unwatchable brand of football, Kyle Flood proved he has no business being in charge of a team at this level. Everything broke right last year. Rutgers won the games they should have and lost the games they shouldn't have. They overcame a 25 point deficit to beat Maryland on the last game of the season, and ultimately won themselves a bowl game in convincing fashion. This season was everything last season wasn't. Everything went wrong, and it's fitting that it was capped off with that very same Maryland team reminding Rutgers fans what this team has been under Kyle Flood. Disappointing, inconsistent, and undisciplined (both on and off the field). All problems that are a direct reflection of it's leader.
If you want to know why Kyle Flood needed to be fired then look no further than his very own list of reasons that he shouldn't have been fired...
A couple of relatively meaningless bowl victories? A 3-way share of a Big East championship that Rutgers failed to win outright by collapsing down the stretch, even with a defense littered with future NFL players that Kyle Flood inherited? A Lambert Cup championship? What the fuck is that? It sounds like some weekend soccer tournament for middle school girls. GPA's? That's what we are hanging are hat on? Not only is that a ridiculous thing for a football coach to brag about, but it's blatantly false. Rutgers graduation rate has been on a steady decline ever since Kyle Flood took over. The following press conference sounds like a goddamn standup comedy routine. Like there should have been drums and a rimshot following 75% of his answers. Answers that were so far disconnected from the reality of the situation. You can't just repeat the same "1-0" rhetoric after your team just finished a season in which they went 4-8, and expect people to understand.
Ultimately, the aspirations of a program coming off it's second year in a Power 5 conference should be higher than bowl eligibility. Bowl eligibility that Rutgers so valiantly failed to achieve this year. They should be higher than simply competing, and in most of their games against actual high level competition, Rutgers didn't even do that. This program should be trying to work it's way up, not feeling complacent stranded in mediocrity. Kyle Flood represents mediocrity, and his acceptance of it, as well as Julie Hermann's, is what ultimately led to their termination. Well, that and enough off the field troubles to make people forget where Ray Rice went to school...