How bad rumors get started

I saw this link yesterday, and was planning on just giving it a one line summary tomorrow. in short: UNC wants to add a neutral site game with LSU to its 2010 schedule, and wanted to move road games at either Rutgers or South Carolina as a result. Rutgers said no, South Carolina said yes (spurred by ESPN promises, and their AD's ties to UNC), and that should be in the end of it.

Not exactly. South Carolina still needs another home game in 2010. As far as I can tell, South Carolina blogger Travis Haney was speculating about potential replacements, and keyed in on Rutgers, not knowing about the already scheduled games for 2010, or RU's specific financial requirements owing to stadium expansion. There have been rumors about RU turning down one off games, or two for ones going around for a while. And there was specific talk about RU turning down Arkansas this year for a one off game because their financial offer was less than what Rutgers can bring in from a home game. Needless to say, Haney should have qualified his comments, because he was speculating based on incorrect information.

In the way that the internet game of telephone usually works, now the rumor mill is swirling in South Carolina, and their fans are coming to Scarlet Nation and asking if anyone on our side has heard the rumors. Looking at their Rivals site, the speculation is similarly uninformed. I'd advise against clicking that link, unless you're keen on idle speculation and rank ignorance.

Does the already-full 2010 slate prelude further changes? Not necessarily, but they are unlikely. For one thing, Rutgers isn't in a financial position to be buying out of road games. The athletic department needs the revenue from home games, or an equivalent or larger amount to play any one off road dates. No way, no how, is Rutgers giving up a home game with UNC. Army, unfortunately, is likely to stay on the schedule. I'd love to stop playing them, and perhaps Army would have interest in lightening their schedule - but RU isn't giving up a home game willy nilly, and there are further games left in that series.

Rutgers similarly won't be keen on giving up home games with Tulane (the start of a 2 for 1 deal) and Norfolk State. That leaves a road date at FIU. Coach Schiano wants to play in Miami for recruiting purposes (as discussed in my posts about Army here, that should NOT drop the fact that schedule home and home dates with mid majors destroys our strength of schedule), and would not put his friend Mario Cristobal in a tight spot. Although, it would be karmic for FIU dropping their series with USF last year.

I'd even be fine with playing a one off road game if someone meets our guarantee; it's better than RU fans having to subsidize another glorified scrimmage. Without a push and some financial assistance from ESPN, that's not going to happen though. It's either pay Rutgers or another decent mid-level opponent $1.5 million (or whatever the asking price is), or pay half that for a guaranteed victory. No wonder everyone chooses the latter; they have budgetary issues of their own. In fact, I would do cartwheels if ESPN greased the skids for getting out of that FIU road date, and it was replaced by a home and home series with South Carolina, starting with a road contest in Columbia next year. However, at this point, any such deal looks extremely unlikely due to the reasons stated above.

(By the way, UConn landed a home and home series with Michigan? We couldn't get in on that?)

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