Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"Dogs and Cats Living Together!" or the continuing story of Rutgers' improbable rise

Within a week the Scarlet Knights have had their head coach reject an offer from the University of Michigan, and now a three-star quarterback recruit, D.C. Jefferson, switch his commitment to Rutgers from LSU, a team which will be playing for the National Championship next month. There is some head scratching in SEC country about this choice (just as there was in the Mitten State last week about Coach Schiano's loyalty to RU), but there are a lot of reasons why highly-recruited high-school athletes make their final college selections. My hope is that D.C. chose Rutgers over Louisiana State for more than just its athletics. Maybe someone played this song to him:
And college men from LSU
Went in dumb - come out dumb too

--Randy Newman, "Rednecks" (1974)

I want to believe that Rutgers' academic reputation is part of any recruit's reason for coming here, but no matter the reason, it's starting to feel as if tectonic plates in the world of college football are in the process of shifting. It seems clearer and clearer that 2006 was no fluke "Cinderella" season, but the beginning of an era. For other teams, this monumental change in Rutgers' fortunes (and their own) may not seem so positive.

Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath-of-God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling.
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria.

--Ghostbusters (1984)

Stuff like that.

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