TMG Newsmaker of The Week: Greg Schiano

Mark Blaudschun

The numbers indicating ineptness were truly staggering. 

Not only were there losses—0-18 in the Big Ten since 2017. But also, they were staggering losses to the conference's elite team, outscored a year ago by Michigan and Ohio State by a combined score of 108-21.

Whenever there was any discussion about the success the Big Ten was posting, there was an addendum—and then there was Rutgers.

It didn't seem to matter whether it was college football or  basketball, the two primary revenue producing sports, Rutgers was a bottom feeder.

After last season's 2-10 (wins over UMass and Liberty) and another 0-9 conference record, RU officials had had enough of former Ohio State assistant Chris Ash and went back to their past and hired Greg Schiano for the second time.

How good was Schiano?

He spent 11 seasons at Rutgers (2001-2011) and was one game under .500. And actually had the Scarlet Knights in the Top 10 at one point.

But that was a different era, a different league. And Schiano had not been a college football head coach for almost a decade.

Still, after the usual soap opera, RU and Schiano reunited—at $4 million a year for eight years.

At first, it seemed like the return would have to wait when the Big Ten opted to postpone this season because of COVID-19 issues.

When that changed, Rutgers was still, well, Rutgers.

Or so it seemed.

On Saturday, the Scarlet Knights and Schiano opened their season at Michigan State and right away you could feel something different in RU. 

A different attitude perhaps caused by Schiano who brought in 10 transfers, many of them from the Big Ten, including Saturday's starting QB, Noah Vedral, a graduate transfer from Nebraska.

Fairy tales, yes, they sometimes can come true. 

Aided by a spate of turnovers by Michigan State, Rutgers and Vedral (18 of 29, 169 1 TD rushing, 1 TD passing) posted a 38-27 victory, giving Rutgers its first Big Ten victory since 2017.

Next up is the home opener against Indiana a surprising and controversial upset winner over Penn State on  Saturday.

For what happened on Saturday and for what might happen over the next several weeks, Greg Schiano is TMG's Newsmaker of the Week.


Tony Barnhart