Schiano Steps Into Tougher Big Ten World at Rutgers

BruceHooley

The purge on Ryan Day's staff at Ohio State may be starting, with Boston College interested in linebackers coach Al Washington and perhaps defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley to succeed the fired Steve Addazio.

OSU defensive coaches are all the rage early in the college football hiring season, since Rutgers committed Sunday to hiring former Buckeyes' defensive coordinator Greg Schiano for his second stint as head coach.

He'll be announced on the Rutgers' campus today as the successor to Chris Ash, like Schiano, a former Ohio State defensive coordinator.

Ash coached the Buckeyes in their 2014 national championship season and in 2015, when they started the season a unanimous No. 1, but sleep-walked through the year until shockingly losing to Michigan State and a backup quarterback the next-to-last week of the regular season.

When OSU didn't make the Playoff, Ash departed for Rutgers, just like Meyer's offensive coordinator, Tom Herman, had the year before for Houston.

Herman spent two years there before taking over at Texas, where he purged his staff Sunday of three assistants whose affiliation with him dated to their OSU days.

Schiano, and his fan base, would be ecstatic if he gets Rutgers to the same 7-5 mark they're firing coaches for in Austin.

It's just another example of the varying expectations and limitations on certain programs, even ones that share the same conference affiliation, like Ohio State and Rutgers.

Both are members of the Big Ten East, but while they are literally in the same division, they are not even figuratively in the same league.

When Schiano went 68-67 in 11 seasons at Rutgers from 2001-2011, the Scarlet Knights were members of the Big East. Other than Miami, there were no consistent national-championship threats to contend with.

It's one thing to build a program battling occasionally-relevant competition like Louisville, Connecticut, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Temple and West Virginia. It's another to compete in the same division as and annually play Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State and Penn State, plus periodic games against Big Ten West members Iowa and Wisconsin.

Rutgers will not receive a full share of the Big Ten's annual TV windfall until 2027, although its portion climbs from a partial share of $29 million in 2020 to a heftier $44 million in 2021.

A sticking point of Schiano's negotiations with Rutgers in recent weeks fell upon his insistence for a football training center and facility upgrades estimated at $150 million.

The school's Board of Regents wanted that money raised from private individuals, so it will be interesting to see from where, or if, the funding materializes.

Schiano won't be inheriting any Ray Rice-type talents taking over for Ash, although sophomore quarterback Arthur Sitkowski has removed his name from the transfer portal since word of Schiano's impending hire.

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