By Matt Sugam
No. 20 Rutgers (8-1, 4-0 Big East) has three games remaining – all in conference – at Cincinnaiti, at Pittsburgh and then home against Louisville. As the lone undefeated team in the Big East, the Scarlet Knights have the luxury of controlling their own destiny en route to that elusive Big East Title.
“I think the one thing that anyone that’s undefeated in conference play is aware of is that you do control your own destiny and that is a very powerful and fragile thing to posses,” head coach Kyle Flood said on his Sunday conference call with reporters. “And if you go any further than looking forward to the opponent you’re playing this week – which for us is going to be a really fine, very well coached and talented [Cincinnati] team – then you have no chance of being able to do that.”
And Rutgers doesn’t have to look very far for examples of why they have to do that. In fact, they just have to look within.
Between losing a share of the Big East Title last year by losing to UConn to end the year, and losing to Kent State two weeks ago to end their undefeated season, they know what looking ahead can do.
“We’ve certainly seen it before and I don’t think you have to look very far around the country to see examples of situations where that may have happened,” Flood said. “But for us, we certainly are aware of the situation that we’re in, but the most important thing that we do this week is win the game that we’re playing.”
After all, it’s the only thing they can control. And looking ahead does nothing but get a team into trouble.
“It’s [the game this week] the only one that you can win,” Flood said. “So to even think about anything else, you’re wasting time when you can pout it towards what you can actually affect which is being 1-0 this week.”