As a fan of Rutgers Scarlet Knights football, you might think that there's no reason at all for you to pay the slightest attention to any of this weekend's college gridiron battles while our Knights are enjoying a bye week, mais au contraire mon frère!
There are at least 10 games in which you, as a loyal son or daughter of Rutgers, should have at least a mild rooting interest over the next three days. Here they are, in order of appearance (not in order of importance):
Tonight @ 7:30pm: Virginia Tech at East Carolina. You should root for the Pirates to beat the Hokies. While not vital, it's necessary for some teams currently ranked in the twenties to lose to make room for the Scarlet Knights.
Friday @ 8pm: Boise State at Louisiana Tech. The Smurfs must lose, as must every other undefeated team except Cincinnati. The best chance for the Scarlet Knights to make it into a BCS bowl begins with the Bearcats making it to the National Championship game. To do that they need to do more than go undefeated; they need for all the other undefeated teams (or all but one) to lose.
Saturday @ 12 noon: UCF at Texas. See above. Death to Longhorns.
Saturday @ 12 noon: Northwestern at Iowa. The Hawkeyes are undefeated? The Hawkeyes must lose.
Saturday @ 12 noon: Syracuse at Pittsburgh. We Rutgers fans want to see Otto the Orange giggling with glee and rolling on the sidelines of Ketchup Stadium as Syracuse breaks out of their week of extreme bad luck with a laughingly easy victory over the Panthers. Why? Not only does Cincinnati need to win convincingly every week, but the Panthers need to lose three games in order for the Scarlet Knights to jump over them in the Big East standings.
Saturday @ 12 noon: Louisville at West Virginia. The Mountaineers need to have the best possible record and ranking when they enter Rutgers Stadium on December 5th, so say bye bye Cardinals (& move one step closer to the end of the Kragthorpe era at PapaJohnsStadium).
Saturday @ 2:30pm: Navy at Notre Dame. Notre Dame is another of those schools ranked in the twenties that needs to make room for the Scarlet Knights. Plus we'd just love to see the Midshipmen beat the Leprechauns after losing to the Temple Owls last week. Plus we just love to see Notre Dame lose. Don't you?
Saturday @ 3:30pm: LSU at Alabama. The losses need to be evenly distributed around the SEC in November, so this Saturday it's the Crimson Tide's turn to be mauled decisively by the Tigers of Baton Rouge.
Saturday @ 4pm: TCU at San Diego State. The Aztecs need to rip the heart out of any Horned Frog dreams for an undefeated 2009 season.
Saturday @ 7:15pm: Vanderbilt at Florida. Florida is undefeated. You know for whom to root. Commodores. Commodores. Toot. Toot. Toot. (If that isn't their cheer, it should be.) OK, so Vanderbilt lost to Army. All that means is that if the Gators don't beat them by twenty points, then the Gators don't deserve their top national ranking.
Saturday @ 8pm: Connecticut at Cincinnati. You almost feel sorry for the fluffy white doggies from Storrs this year. With a couple of bounces in their favor in the fourth quarter, they could be 8-0 rather than 4-4, but as Rutgers fans we have to root for them to go 4-5 on Saturday night, and for them to lose convincingly to the Big East leaders, for all the reasons already given above.