Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Scarlet Knights have their third winning season in a row

With the 20-16 win against the Pittsburgh Panthers at the Stadium today, the Knights are now assured of their third winning season in a row, ending this season (counting the inevitable bowl appearance) somewhere between 7-6 and 9-4. Those young men standing together and watching the coin toss in the picture up above are the only current Scarlet Knights who can remember what it was like to end the season with a losing record. They are the only current Scarlet Knights who can remember what it was like to know that there would be no games played after the last regular season game. The only current Knights who remember how much worse a 4-7 record feels than a 7-4 record.

I mention this because I have heard from a number of people in the New York area (including some who were behind me in the stands today) who are disappointed in this year's version of the Knights. If they had any sense of history, they would realize how important it is that the Knights have just beaten the Panthers for the third time in a row -- this is a team that owned a 19-3 record against the Knights when these seniors were freshmen. These seniors helped double the number of wins the Knights hold in this long series in just three years. There are now high-school football recruits who think of Rutgers as a dominant team in the Big East, but there was a time not too long ago when no one would think to seriously mention the name of Rutgers in comparison to Pitt and Syracuse.

The Knights deserve praise for this turnaround. These seniors were a big part of it, and they'll be missed.

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