Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why so glum?

Anyone surfing around the web for any news or comment about our favorite football team is sure to see a lot of "commentary" from various Gloomy Gusses about the sorry state of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in 2009 (and let's be brutally honest, does anyone love to complain more than a whiny North Jersey a**hole?). As an answer, I give them this picture taken on Labor Day.

Of course Gloomy Gus will see only the "45" and the "7," but I love this picture despite the score. This one image shows the debut of the ginormous new HDTV screen above the new south endzone seats, it shows people still in those seats despite the score, it trumpets the one honor -- "THE BIRTHPLACE OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL"-- that no school will ever take away from Rutgers, and it shows the debut of Rutgers' quarterback of the future (and the present) in his first quarter of action for the Scarlet Knights, before he threw his first touchdown pass and his first 2-point conversion pass (and before he gave up a safety to give those 2 points back to the Bearcats).
If Tom Savage continues to throw the ball against Florida International this weekend the way he did against Cincy and Howard, and if Cincinnati wins again against Oregon State (in the Beavers' home) showing that they are who we think they are, then they are going to be moving up close to the top ten in everyone's polls next week and Rutgers' first-week loss to them with our second-string quarterback (and Dom Natale didn't even show he could move the ball against Howard in the second half on Saturday) will start to look like an aberration.
The most important game for Rutgers this Saturday is obviously the game against the FIU Panthers, but the second most important game for Rutgers football is the game being played by the Pitt Panthers against Navy. Pittsburgh is lurking just below the bottom of most polls right now; a few stumbles among the top 25 and a stellar performance by Pitt could put them on the lower rungs of the national rankings next week. There would be nothing better than to see a highly-ranked and undefeated group of Panthers entering Rutgers Stadium on October 16th to meet a Scarlet Knight team that has had a chance to gel around Tom Savage's leadership. If the Bearcats are still undefeated they will be in the top ten at that point; nobody would have a problem putting the Knights into the rankings if they beat a ranked Pitt and their only loss was to a top-ten team in week one. Well, maybe by "nobody" I mean that I would have no trouble placing them there in my BlogPoll compiled on October 17.
I just want to note that I hope to be able to get a BlogPoll posted here early on Sunday, but then I'll be out of the country for nine days (in a place where football is played with the feet, and where the players wear shorts instead of pads and helmets) and I'll be computer-free while I'm in that land of beer and castles. I won't be around for the Maryland game or the post-Maryland poll, so I will either miss that week or get it in just before the Wednesday-morning deadline on June 30th. Don't completely abandon Beat Visitor dot com while I'm observing radio silence.

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