Friday, August 31, 2007

It was just so nice to be in the Stadium again ...

.. and to watch the Tiquan Underwood Show.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Scarlet Knights open the 2007 season at #16 in the AP Poll

The AP poll is the poll that counts when people (ok, USC fans) start shouting WE'RE NUMBER ONE. It's out this afternoon, and as the following excerpt from an MSNBC article points out, this is the first time that the football team representing our Alma Mater -- a team with a longer history in college football than anyone -- has been on the list to start the season:
Ohio State, last year’s preseason No. 1 and the loser of the national title game to Florida, is No. 11 to start the 2007 season. No. 12 is California, followed by Georgia, UCLA and Tennessee.

No. 16 Rutgers is ranked in the preseason for the first time, as is No. 23 Hawaii.

Penn State is No. 17 and Auburn, Florida State and Nebraska round out the top 20. Arkansas, TCU, Hawaii, Boise State and Texas A&M are the final five.

The Southeastern Conference has six ranked teams, most of any league. The Big Ten and Big 12 are next with four and the Pac-10 and Big East have three each.

In other news, a magazine published by a little television station in Connecticut called "ESPN The Magazine" prints something they call a College Football issue this week; it fails to mention the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their "power rankings" or treat our team with anywhere near the adulation that Sports Illustrated (an actual magazine) does in their current issue. (We think they're all secretly Connecticut Husky fans and simply jealous of the team located just to their southwest in New Jersey).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Brian Leonard's first professional game

I know it's only preseason, but how great is it that Brian Leonard was the leading rusher and the leading receiver and scored the only TD in the St. Louis Rams' first game of the year?

Doesn't this quote from Metro Canada sound familiar?

And how great is it that he's still wearing number 23? Is there any doubt that this is the first number the Knights should retire?

Les billets sonts arrivés!! (lay bee-yay sohn tah-ree-vay!!) The Tickets Are Here!!

This monumental news seems to require some language other than the language we use every day; the language of those who understand the concept of joie de vivre seems appropriate.

I don't think I've been so excited to see something in my mailbox since I was five years old (and maybe not even then).

I hope you all got yours today too.

See you at Rutgers Stadium (a.k.a. R House) in less than two weeks.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

RU shines in the current print issue of SI

Of course there was a time in the very recent past when a fan of the Scarlet Knights would have to search closely through the fine print in Sports Illustrated's annual College Football Preview issue to find any mention of our favorite team. Would we come in last in the Big East? Or would Temple be predicted to finish below us?
This year's issue, dated August 20, 2007 and on the newstands now, has a wealth of scarlet pages, from a full-page John Hancock advertising feature about Greg Schiano on page 44, to a profile of Ray Rice (with photo vs Syracuse) on pages 65 & 66, to a full-page article on SI's #12 preseason pick (with emphasis on Eric Foster) on page 102. You could miss the smaller mentions of Rutgers on the Big East page on page 119, or in this list of Bowl Predictions on page 129:

Our Knights versus the Wolverines in the ROSE Bowl?? I don't want to get too confident, but I'm trying to save my money for a long New Year's Day trip.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Another High Rutgers Pre-Season Ranking, or fans putting their money where their hearts are

This list of the 50 most expensive games of the upcoming football season finds Rutgers vs. West Virginia at R House in position #12 with an average ticket agency price of $495. It's the most expensive game involving Big East teams.
The only other Big East games on the list are Louisville at West Virginia in position 20 ($379), Rutgers at Louisville in position 26 ($305), and one non-conference regional rivalry, Louisville at Kentucky, in position 47 ($179).

Update: August 14, 2007 12:35 PM
I guess it's priced fairly because this RU-WVU game with the twelfth-highest preseason price is ranked by today as game #11 in the top 20 games of the coming season:

In Case You Were Worried About Your Season Tickets

I know how you feel, because I've been anxiously checking the mail myself, but you should know that they haven't been lost or stolen yet. The following notice was just posted prominently on today:


We apologize to those individuals who have tried to contact the Rutgers Ticket Office. Due to the storm that hit the metropolitan area early Wednesday morning, we have experienced sporadic phone outages at the Rutgers Athletic Center throughout the day. We are working to get phone service fully restored and we appreciate your patience. Rutgers Football season tickets will be mailed out next week. [emphasis added]

In the meantime, you can relive the magical atmosphere of Rutgers Stadium in 2006 by clicking on the thumbnail picture for a view of the stands filling up half an hour before the Louisville game last November 9. You can almost smell the hot dogs and hot pretzels and hear the student section taunting the Cardinals in the end zone (or at least I can).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Visit the Scarlet Knights Newzer, a great new Rutgers blog

Unlike this writer of, Aditi Kinkhabwala of the Record has access to practices as the season approaches, and tons of great information in her new blog, Scarlet Knights Newzer, which I've also added to the links in the sidebar.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Kings, Barons, Knights or Peasants? Guess where Stewart Mandel of ranks Rutgers Football

In his attempt today in's College Football Mailbag to rank the "prestige level" of all 66 BCS schools by dividing them into four tiers, Kings, Barons, Knights, and Peasants, Stewart Mandel puts the Scarlet Knights, despite their long history and their recent winning ways, and their noble mounted mascot, firmly among the Peasants.

You can write to him to express your disagreement, but this is probably exactly what the Scarlet Knights need (like their recent #70 ranking on to keep in the players' minds that there is still a lot to prove to the rest of the country, despite the recent successes on the field, in the media, and at the box office.
The entire Big East takes their lumps in these feudalistic rankings. There are four Peasants (Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers, and South Florida), three Knights (Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia), and no Barons or Kings. The eighth school in the Big East, Louisville, is the only BCS school that he left off the list entirely, because "History-wise, the Cardinals are peasants, but the program has completely reinvented itself over the past decade and now gets mentioned with the kings and barons. For now, we'll just say: TBD. "

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Kordell Young & Ray Rice Backfield Duo

Some of the most exciting moments in Rutgers football came last year when number 8 touched the ball, often (like a certain back who just left for the Rams) on short passes out of the backfield.

Now Ray Rice is talking about sharing the ball with Kordell in the season that starts later this month:
"I definitely don't see a 350-carry year. Not with Kordell here."

The Scarlet Knights aren't likely to run an equal-carry system. But sophomore Young is making a case for the touches that used to go to Leonard, Rutgers' former do-all all-star fullback. He carried the ball 29 times, scored three touchdowns and caught three passes (just one less than Rice) last year – and he smilingly said Saturday, "I'd love to take some of the load off Ray. Maybe cut down his carries a little bit."

I don't think that people who haven't followed the Knights closely have any idea how deep the talent on this team runs.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Scarlet Knights score a sweet 16 in the preseason USA Today Coaches' poll out today . . .

. . . just behind Tennessee and just ahead of UCLA.
Click Here for more details.

These 1882 wearers of the Block R would be proud!

Update 8/8/07: For those of you wondering about the "other" major preseason poll:

(AP) The preseason AP college football poll will move on Saturday, Aug. 18, for immediate release.
The first regular-season poll will move Tuesday, Sept. 4, because of Monday night games. Thereafter, the poll will move on Sundays.

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that the Scarlet Knights will be one spot higher, at 15, in the AP.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

No Single-Game Tickets for Public Sale in 2007?

According to this article in the Sporting News, there will be an attempt to offer at least one single-game ticket to each of the 6,000 people on the season-ticket waiting list, and I know from mailings I've received that there will be an offer to Alumni Association members for homecoming against Norfolk State on September 15, and of course undergraduate students will get theirs, but other than that I haven't heard of any other tickets going on sale (other than on StubHub and other resellers).
But remember how easy it used to be to decide to see a game at Rutgers Stadium at the last minute, just because it was a nice day?

Rutgers vs. Temple, 31 October 1998