'We belong in this league': Greg Schiano encouraged by early growth at Rutgers
Expectations for Rutgers couldn’t have been much lower before the start of the 2020 season.
The Scarlet Knights went through a coaching change, hadn’t won a B1G game in two years and missed spring practice because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though it was Greg Schiano returning to the program, nobody expected Rutgers to win more than (maybe) a game.
When the season concluded, the Scarlet Knights walked away with a 3-6 record. On paper, it’s still a pretty unappealing number in terms of successful college football. But for a program that had regularly had its faced stomped into the ground, it was a sign of progress.
At B1G Media Days, Schiano talked about where his team has improved most over his year-and-a-half in Piscataway and also explained why Rutgers belongs in the B1G.
“Our team bought into our culture. That was my number one criteria,” Schiano said. “If we were going to have what we would label a success — wasn’t necessarily tied to the result right away — but what it was tied to is did the culture get embedded in the program?
“And then, certainly, winning some games after not having won very many built their confidence and they started to believe. You know what? We belong in this league and as I told them, so do you. It’s going to to become more and more evident each and every year.”
For the first time under Schiano, Rutgers will have enjoyed a full spring season and a traditional fall camp. After seeing the magic he worked in 2020 against all odds, it’s hard to imagine what kind of progress the program can make in Year 2.