Earlier this week, ESPN Insider Travis Haney took a look at the most underrated coaches of 2012.
Coming in at No. 9: Rutgers coach Kyle Flood. Quick disclaimer: There is no way Urban Meyer belongs on any list with the word "underrated" on it. OK, back to regularly scheduled programming.
Seeing Flood on the list got me thinking about whether he did do an underrated job this year. I have gone back and forth on the topic:
Yes, underrated! As soon as Greg Schiano left and Flood got the job, folks began downgrading Rutgers from Big East title contender to question mark. Rutgers was picked to finish No. 3 in the preseason media poll, but Flood led this team to a share of its first Big East title.
Not underrated! While that is all true, Flood also had not one but TWO chances to lead Rutgers to an outright Big East title and BCS berth. Rutgers lost both games, and settled for a spot in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Not exactly rising to the challenge, right?
Yes, underrated! His peers clearly thought he did a great job, as he won co-Big East coach of the year honors with Charlie Strong. Rutgers now has a chance to win 10 games in a season for the third time EVER. And oh, by the way, Rutgers did navigate itself into the Big Ten, too.
Not underrated! True, but some of his coaching decisions during games left people scratching their heads, particularly the way Rutgers played so conservatively. He had an immense amount of talent returning, so there was never any question Rutgers would be good. The question was how good.
You see my pros and cons.
I think Flood did a good job in his first year as a head coach. But, I also think we will know more about Flood next season, when he loses just about every starter off a defense that carried the Scarlet Knights this year. How he handles some of these personnel changes and the development of the younger players will speak plenty to his ability as a head coach.