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Four Major Questions After Schiano Bolts Rutgers: Can SU Take Advantage?

Since Greg “Crazy Eyes” Schiano bolted Rutgers for the NFL yesterday, the university is frantically trying to pick up the pieces and hold together one of its best recruiting classes ever. A few players have reopened their recruitment, including receiver Leonte Caroo, who was contacted by Syracuse immediately. Several questions have now emerged.

  • Can ol’ Crazy Eyes Schiano win at the NFL level? 

He brought Rutgers from an utter disgrace to respectability, but John Otterstedt of Scarlet Nation told Brent Axe on the Score 1260, he may not be a great fit.

“He’s an average gameday coach. If he has more talent he will beat you. If he has less he’ll lose, and if he has the same amount there’s still a good chance he’ll lose.”

Ouch. That’s pretty harsh from somebody who has covered him daily. Otterstedt says he won at Rutgers with his recruiting charm (even if he mostly treated media like dirt). According to Otterstedt he’ll need more of it in the coming years:

“I don’t see this working out long term. I think he will be back rebuilding a college program within a few years.”

  • Who will be the next head coach?

Rutgers immediately named Kyle Flood as interim coach, but is he the solution longterm? Otterstedt says Flood is a legitimate candidate for the job, but there are others. Those include FIU’s Mario Cristobal, Miami’s Al Golden and offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti. Otterstedt believes Golden, who turned Temple into a contender, could be the choice.

“There’s some interest there from both sides. That’s a story you will probably be hearing about in the coming days.”

Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti said in a news conference, “The program is not a rebuild. The program is priced to move in every way.”

  • How will this effect this year’s recruiting class? 

RU has a massive task in front of it the next 5 days. All its commits are being called by other schools, and a few have already reopened their recruitment. The class won’t be a total loss, some players have already re-stated their commitment to Rutgers. But two big time recruits (4-star ATH Devin Fuller and 5-star DE Darius Hamilton), who many thought would end up at Rutgers, are now up in the air.

  • Can Syracuse take advantage?

Could this be a reverse Ray Rice situation for the Orange? When Coach P was fired Rice switched his commitment from SU to Rutgers and helped resurrect the Knights, while SU sputtered through G-Rob hell. It’s very unlikely Syracuse can do much damage to the excellent class Rutgers has assembled. If the Orange is fortunate maybe it can snag one or two, but it’s doubtful SU can pluck away more than that. However, many of the most prized recruits could flee elsewhere for more stable situations.

Doug Marrone is now the longest tenured coach in the Big East, and needs to seize this opportunity for the class of 2013 and get back into New Jersey. Since the departure of Coach P, Syracuse has been dominated by Rutgers in the Dirty Jerz. This is the opening to get some of that high class talent SU desperately needs.

So 11 years after taking over “the worst program in America” as Pernetti referred to it, Crazy Eyes is taking his act to the NFL. Now it’s time for Dougie and co. to get back into Jersey and take back some of the talent they desperately need.

Posted: Alex Plavin

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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