Here is what we wrote on June 28:
We expect the Rutgers losses to start against Fresno State and we anticipate that every tough opponent will throttle Schiano’s Schoolboys. By season’s end we expect Rutgers Stadium to be as empty as a cemetery at midnight in a blizzard — and watch that diminished enthusiasm crush ticket sales for the 2009 campaign. New Jersey fans have no affection for losers and they will show it by not showing up.
Today, even homer Luicci writes in the Ledger: Rutgers didn’t just lose to North Carolina tonight.
The Knights were so bad fundamentally in their 44-12 loss to the Tar Heels that the sellout crowd of 42,502 emptied Rutgers Stadium before the fourth quarter even began.
The AP moved this story: North Carolina embarrasses Rutgers on national TV. Bad as that headline is, the story stings even more: The start is worst for the Scarlet Knights since 2002, when they finished 1-11 in Schiano’s second season. It also was the worst home loss since being thrashed 40-0 by West Virginia that same year.
In many ways, the Scarlet Knights looked like the Rutgers of old. They blew pass coverages on all three of Yates’ TD passes, had a bad punt lead to a North Carolina score and saw their senior quarterback turn the ball over three times.
The New York Times piled on with a story headed, Rutgers makes losing look easy. The reporter wrote: “We just don’t quite understand how to seize the moment right now,” Schiano said.
Watch Schiano’s lauded recruiting class fall away like leaves in an October storm, and watch the “season ticket waiting list” evaporate like spilled water in the Thar Desert.
As for Schiano, his sideline visage is that of a deer in the headlights. He is clueless, simple as that, although he was smart enough to wrestle $2 million per year on a longterm contract from the even more clueless athletic director Robert Mulcahy, III.
The fans, apparently, are not as clueless. Per Steve Politi in the Ledger:
The fans are turning on his program already. The Scarlet Knights heard some boos in the 24-7 season-opening loss to Fresno State, but nothing like what they heard Thursday night. When quarterback Mike Teel threw the second of his three interceptions late in the second quarter — an inexplicable throw to the end zone when intended receiver Tim Brown had four North Carolina defenders surrounding him — the reaction was instant and ugly.
One fan in the upper deck tossed his Scarlet baseball cap over the edge. Another fan in the student section gave the ESPN cameras a one-fingered salute. The fans who crowded the bandwagon in 2006 booed loudly when Teel took a knee to run out the clock at the half.
Memo to the BoG: it would be criminally stupid to go forward with a $100+ million stadium expansion. By the Army game Rutgers Stadium will be half empty at kick-off. This is a bad coach, a bad team, an embarrassing waste of tens of millions of dollars. Pull the plug now before the school itself goes down the drain. Students are sleeping in dormitory lounges because there are no beds — only demented jocksniffers would even discuss pouring tens of millions more dollars into the Schiano-Mulcahy rat hole.
Stop the stadium expansion now.