Best case/Worst case rewind: Rutgers

December, 17, 2009
12/17/09
3:04
PM ET
It's time to look back on my Best Case/Worst Case scenarios from the preseason for each team. Since Rutgers is playing in two days, let's start with the Scarlet Knights.

Original post is here.

Best case in a nutshell: 12-1 and a Big East title.

Worst case in a nutshell: 6-6 and no bowl.

Reality: 8-4 and St. Petersburg Bowl.

That's just crazy talk: "Senior Dom Natale wins the starting quarterback job and benefits from having all day to throw behind the league's best offensive line. The running game, led by Joe Martinek and Jourdan Brooks, combine to form a solid 1-2 punch and Tim Brown paces a better-than-expected receiving group. Freshman Tom Savage starts coming in for a few series at quarterback, giving the offense a Chris Leak-Tim Tebow vibe."

Not too far off: "Playing the defending conference champs in the opener without an established quarterback or proven receivers turns out to be a disaster, as Cincinnati spoils the christening of the expanded stadium. Natale struggles to make plays ... Martinek and Brooks remind nobody of Ray Rice, and the offense stalls all season."

What really happened: The offensive line was a disappointment. Greg Schiano had to go to freshman Savage early and patch together the offense with a lot of Wildcat formations. The defense got better as the season went along. Rutgers won all the games it was supposed to win except Syracuse but didn't really pull off any upsets. That's why the Scarlet Knights finished much closer to the worst case scenario than my highly optimistic best case version.

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