Tom Ciszek – NJSportsPhoto/from

When I look back at what I wrote about Rutgers football before the season began last year, I can’t help but want to punch myself in the face with a huge spiky metallic glove, like Spongebob was willing to do to please Kevin the sea cucumber.

It’s not so much for the high hopes – I will not apologize for having high hopes for what looked like a potentially great team last year – but the fact that I started off previews no one read/cared about with melodramatic, overly terse statements like, “It wasn’t a fluke.” This is how convinced I apparently was that everyone else hated Rutgers and was sure they would never win another game in the history of the world and that only an idiot could possibly believe the success would continue and not only did they hate Rutgers football, but me, personally, and it was up to me to set those wayward souls straight and the fate of the known universe itself was in my hands and my hands only.

It pains me when fans get arrogant about their teams – so, naturally, I myself displayed boatloads of overconfidence and self-righteousness before the season even started. And now, I might be ready to do it again. There is never a time to be more optimistic than when spring practice concludes and the season is months away…and wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly where we are right now.

Rutgers’ spring game on Saturday, like all others, left fans unsure what to think. For example, the offense made some good plays. That’s great – but is it a bad sign for the defense? It’s tough to tell. However, I’m still coming out of it optimistic. There are worrisome aspects (like the interior D-line, for one), but there are also a lot of good players on this team (QB Mike Teel is primed for a huge year, with WRs Kenny Britt [pictured] and Tiquan Underwood ready to be their fantastic selves again).

Will the potential good outweigh the possible bad? There’s only one way to find out – and it doesn’t start until September, so I’m going to enjoy the times of boundless optimism while I can.