Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Scarlet Knights leaving the dugout.

Another short video from yesterday's Pinstripe Bowl victory. Here are the Scarlet Knights taking the field from the dugut on the third-base line (if there were a third-base line at Yankee Stadium rather than a gridiron):
Watch in on YouTube to see the full width.

"Hey Big E! Hey Big E! This one's for you buddy!"

Here's a short iPhone video taken from my seat in section 122  of the trophy presentation at Yankee Stadium after the Scarlet Knights' 27-13 Pinstripe Bowl victory over the Iowa State Cyclones.  You can see Jawan Jamison getting his MVP award and Greg Schiano dedicating the win to Eric LeGrand.

What "SI Curse" for appearing on the Sports Illustrated cover right before a big game?

(Here's the lo-res version I originally posted via Blogger):

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Eric LeGrand on the next Sports Illustrated cover

On Newstands Later This Week.

This fan choice of Eric LeGrand for the cover of Sports Illustrated's Pictures of the Year issue is an amazing honor for a great guy.  It's wonderful to know that the rest of the country is as touched by Eric's story as those of us who bleed scarlet.

Unless I've missed something over the years, I think this will be the first chance since football began in New Brunswick in 1869 that the Scarlet Knights have a chance to overcome the so-called SI Curse.

Rutgers vs. Princeton

This is not related to sports, but I was in the car over the weekend and heard the end of the "Nemeses" episode of This American Life, with this story, "A Tale of Two Jerseys" by Chris Gethard, which you can listen to at the 36 minute mark using the widget below, or read the transcript here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I just ordered my tickets to the Pinstripe Bowl

Let's make Yankee Stadium a sea of red on December 30th for the Scarlet Knights' bowl game against Iowa State.

Not exactly "The Birthplace of College Football", but it'll do.
I know there was some disappointment after the loss to Connecticut ending the regular season, but no one picked Rutgers to finish 8-4 this year (most "experts" picked us to finish last in the Big East), so let's cheer loudly for dear old R.U. to get their ninth victory of the year over the Iowa State Cyclones.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Soccer Run is Over

The Rutgers men didn't make the jump from the Sweet Sixteen to the Elite Eight in this year's NCAA soccer championships.
They lost tonight to UCLA, the same team that beat them in them in the 1990 final game.
Congratulations to the Scarlet Knights on making to the third round this year.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What's at stake with UConn today.

1) BIG EAST: A win in this season finale means that Rutgers will share the Big East crown with Louisville (which won yesterday) and maybe Cincinnati and maybe West Virginia. A tie between Rutgers, Louisville, and Cincinnati would give Rutgers the BCS bid, but all the Scarlet Knights can worry about is hucking the fuskies first (while rooting for Syracuse to lose to the Bearcats).
2) NATIONAL RANKINGS: Rutgers is at number 26 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, at 30 in the AP Poll, 29 in the Harris Poll, 30 in the ESPN Power Rankings... With a convincing win at Rentschler Field today, the Scarlet Knights should be ending the regular season in the top 25 in most, or all, of these polls.
After being picked by "everyone" to finish last in the conference this year, these are not insignificant accomplishments.
I'll be over on Twitter @BeatVisitor tweeting updates this afternoon.
Go Knights.
Update at the half: UConn 24--Rutgers 10. 21 of the Huskies' points came off turnovers deep in the Rutgers half of the field. In the first drive Juwan Jamison fumbled while being injured, but the good news is that he came back in the 2nd quarter with a taped ankle and scored the one Rutgers touchdown. Connecticut can't count on Rutgers handing them the ball with a short field three more times in the second half.
Update at the end of the 3rd quarter (because I'm not sure if I'll feel like updating at the end of the game): UConn 40 -- Rutgers 10, and we can't blame it on turnovers this time. And at the beginning of the 4th quarter, UConn just downed another punt at the one-yard line, with Gary Nova making his first appearance at quarterback. My faith in miracles is starting to dwindle though.

Final: UConn 40 -- Rutgers 22

Monday, November 21, 2011

Have you bookmarked your NCAA bracket yet?

After beating Colgate in the first round and upsetting Boston College yesterday, the Rutgers men are now in the round of sixteen in this year's NCAA Soccer Championships.

Next Sunday, the 27th, they'll be playing the team that beat the Scarlet Knights for the 1990 championship, the UCLA Bruins. That final match was 0-0, with the Bruins winning on penalty kicks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Big East Tie-Breaker Formula

So, if Rutgers beats UConn next week, the Scarlet Knights are assured of a share of the Big East championship. The only question will be, how many other champions will there be. Here's the current crop of contenders:
Big East Overall PF PA STRK
Rutgers 4-2 8-3 294 185 W3
Louisville 4-2 6-5 227 206 W1
Cincinnati 3-2 7-3 337 200 L2
West Virginia 3-2 7-3 368 268 W1
Pittsburgh 3-2 5-5 256 228 W1
Connecticut 2-3 4-6 224 235 L1

And here are the tiebreaker instructions:

All references to "rankings" refer to the BCS Poll released after the regular season is completed for all BIG EAST members.

The winner of the head to head match-up will represent the BIG EAST in the Bowl Championship Series.


Scenario I:
All three teams have either a 6-1 or 5-2 record and have each won one game and lost one game against the other tied teams in the mini-conference. In this case, the highest ranked team amongst the three earns the bid. If two of the three teams are tied for the highest ranking, the bid is earned by the team winning the head-to-head match up.

Scenario II:
All three teams have 5-2 records, and within the mini-conference, Team A is 2-0, Team B is 1-1, and Team C is 0-2. Team A earns bid regardless of ranking.


Scenario I:
In the mini-conference, Teams A & B are 2-1, and Teams C & D are 1-2. The higher ranked of the 2-1 teams earns the bid. If the 2-1 teams tie for the highest ranking, the bid goes to the team that won the head-to-head match up.

Scenario II:
In the mini-conference, Team A is 3-0, Team B is 2-1, Team C is 1-2, and Team D is 0-3. Team A earns bid regardless of ranking.
So if Rutgers beats UConn and Louisville and West Virginia both lose a third game, it's simple, Rutgers goes to the BCS bowl, because Rutgers won the head-to-head meetings with Pitt and Cincy. But there are a lot of other ties where Rutgers does not win the BCS spot. We can't worry about that yet. We just need to huck the fuskies next week, as they say, and let the chips fall where they may.

It's Noon and Your Television Should Be On If You're Not at Rutgers Stadium

I'll be tweeting updates to the Cincinnati game over at @BeatVisitor
It's already 7-0 Rutgers with 11'43" left in the first quarter.
The score came on a 12-yard Jamison run up the middle after Bearcat QB Munchie Legaux bit the turf and fumbled.
Let's keep it up Knights. Go RU.
At the half: Rutgers is up 10-3, but there were too many lost opportunities after strong drives through the middle of the field. Penalties have been especially harmful, and Mohamed Sanu has been quiet. Dodd actually threw what could have been two touchdown passes to Sanu on the 23-play field goal drive, but you have to give credit to the Cincinnati secondary in breaking up both long plays.
At the end of the 3rd quarter: The defensive star of a dominating defense is Khaseem Greene and the offensive star is Juwan Jamison, who has 170 yards and 2 touchdowns with a full quarter left. The only thing that keeps him looking exactly like Ray Rice today is the fact that he's wearing Brian Leonard's 23 rather than Rice's 27. The score is Rutgers 17- Cincinnati 3. Go Knights!
And at the final whistle: Rutgers 20 and Cincinnati 3. It wasn't that close. The defense was dominating (and helped by the fact that Munchie Legaux looked like an alumnus of the Tim Tebaux Passing Academy) and the Rutgers running game was dominating, led by Juwan Jamison's 200-yard performance. The passing game was effective, with Chas Dodd going 19/33 for 173 yards. Mohamed Sanu only had 4 of those 19 receptions, but Dodd was able to spread the ball around. There is no quarterback controversy in Piscataway going into next week's Connecticut game.
Congratulations to all the Scarlet Knights on a very complete and satisfying performance

Monday, November 7, 2011

Is this the Rutgers Helmet for Saturday's game against Army?

If so, which quarterback will be wearing it to start the game at Yankee Stadium?  Gary Nova or Chas Dodd? 

(Update: Greg Schiano announced this morning that Chas Dodd will be the starting quarterback versus the Black Knights next Saturday.  After his performance at the end of last Saturday night's win against the USF Bulls, it shouldn't have even been a question, should it?)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Pet Peeve

I hate the way that televised football games have come to look more and more like video games and less and less like the game that we see from the stands.  Here's a photo I took from the screen with 40 seconds left in the first half of today's Rutgers / West Virginia game:

Rutgers Stadium on ABC TV, October 29, 2011
It's bad enough when they add the yellow lines and the arrows and the team logos and other crap to our green fields, but black lines on snow?  The fact that Rutgers is dressed in all black today makes it even more visually distracting, but if you look closely you will see that the black lines on the 20 and the 25 aren't even lined up with the white lines, which are still visible under the light snow.  Tell ESPN and ABC that the experiment failed!

Time for the second half to start with Rutgers still up by a score of 31 to 21.  As I said over on Twitter, I won't relax unless they have a 30 point lead with 30 seconds left.  I'm signing off here, so look for me over at @BeatVisitor.


UPDATE at 7pm:
Same old story. West Virginia scored 20 unanswered points in the second half and the final was 41-31 in favor of the Mountaineers.  I wasn't sorry that I was watching on television today.  I've been in attendance at Rutgers Stadium for too many of the 16 straight losses, many of which seemed to be in bad weather (or maybe that was simply my post-game mood).  I'm not sorry to see this team moving to the Big 12.

Versus West Virginia in the Snow

I'm over on Twitter today at @BeatVisitor

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Almost Forgot What This Felt Like

Back in 2006 and 2007, checking the web for the earliest online appearances of the AP and Coaches' Polls was almost an obsession, but it's a pastime that has fallen by the wayside for many fans of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (and certainly for this one).

However, if the Knights beat the Louisville Cardinals and move the 6-1 this Friday night, then be sure to check ESPN and SI on Sunday night, because they might just move onto one, or both, lists. They are currently knocking on the door of the Coaches' top 25 with 31 votes, placing them in 28th, and they have a tougher chance of breaking into the AP, with their 2 votes placing them in 35th.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Great Moment from a Not-So-Great Era in Rutgers Football History

Watch Saint Joe Paterno throw a meaningless touchdown for Penn State (#6/6) against Rutgers (Unranked) in the Meadowlands on September 23, 1995 with an 18-point lead and exactly a minute left in the game. Meaningless, that is, unless he was trying to cover the spread for his buddies in the mob. Not that we're saying he has any buddies in the mob. He's not even Italian, is he?
Anyway, watch Rutgers coach Doug Graber meet him at midfield and use an unprintable word (whose initials are "Bullshit") to describe Saint Joe's classless action.

I love the way that Coach Paterno seems pissed that the lesser mortal refused to genuflect during their post-game meeting.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I'm a traditionalist. Enron Field will always be Enron Field ...

... and The Birthplace of College Football will always be Rutgers Stadium --or maybe "R House"-- in this blog (if I ever get back to football blogging here), but it will never be known by the name of a company I never heard of before this event . But then I'm a traditionalist. I still refer to "Busch Campus" as University Heights and that flat skyscraper above Grand Central as The Pan Am Building, no matter which insurance company paid for the current naming rights and for Snoopy's image.

As an independent blogger, I don't have to bow to any corporate interests by repeating the name of any company that pays to put their name on a stadium or bowl game or "kick-off classic", but why do the TV and radio networks bend over backwards to repeat the names of these corporate sponsors as often as possible. How much did that repetition contribute to the general feeling that Enron might have been something other than a simple criminal enterprise? Is it in the broadcasters' contracts to repeat these names without editorial comment? With all the dead air time in yesterday afternoon's and last night's lightning-delayed and -shortened "Friends of Coal Bowl" between West Virginia and Marshall, you would have thought there would be time to mention that if the corporate "Friends of Coal" sponsoring the game have their way, the West Virginia Mountaineers won't have any mountains left in their state