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Dealing in hypotheticals

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With Army on the plate, Rutgers will have to prep to face another option attack. USA Today has a decent writeup concerning their season up this point.

If I weren't doing all in my power to not hype a certain player, in the futile hope that he will stay for his senior season, I would take issue with this and similar sentiments:

Brett (Washington, DC): What about Kenny Britt from Rutgers for Player of the Year? He has numbers comparable to Michael Crabtree and doesn't play in the same all-pass offense that TexasTech runs.

Brian Bennett: He's got an outside chance, especially the way he's been playing of late. Problem is you have to judge a player on the entire season, and he and his team weren't as strong early.

89 yards vs. Fresno State wasn't as strong? 109 vs. UNC? Maybe it's just me, but Mike Teel was kind of having the worst quarterback season in recent memory until three weeks ago. What has changed is that Teel and Underwood are playing effective football, and the running game is getting going again. He's been utterly dominant all year, considering context. I'm not trying to single out any one in particular with this sentiment, because I've seen it all over the place. Of course, that's an argument that I'd only make if there was an elite junior receiver on the Rutgers offense. Which there isn't. I swear.

The Rutgers men won't be the only team welcoming players back from suspension early when Robert Morris visits the RAC on Friday.

The RU women beat Princeton 83-35.

In response to Adam Zagoria's recent story on Bobby Gonzalez, Jerry Carino shared his thoughts on the situation (which are critical of Zagoria's decision to run the article, and journalistic standards on the web in general).

One more wrinkle for the bowl mix is the possibility that Notre Dame could actually end up in the Cotton Bowl. SI's Stewart Mandel looked at this a few weeks ago:

Yes, the Cotton Bowl's deal with the SEC includes a clause that it can select Notre Dame once in the current four-year period (this is Year 3). But the Gator Bowl also has a deal with the Big East (of which the Irish are a bowl partner) that specifically includes first dibs at Notre Dame if the Irish aren't in the BCS. One source told me that if both bowls desire Notre Dame, the school gets to pick. But another told me there would have to be "a discussion" in order for the Gator to relinquish its rights to the Irish.

That's one possibility. Whether or not the Cotton Bowl would be willing to grab a 7-5 Notre Dame team over a likely 9-3 LSU squad is another story entirely. But the option is out there, as remote as it may be. Of course I'm not happy about Notre Dame taking the Gator Bowl, and wish them all ill will as realistically possible, but the BE bowl deal would probably be even worse if they weren't on the table. Let them go to the Gator Bowl and get smoked while completely overmatched. That won't do them much good.

A two second Google search indicates that Notre Dame needs to finish within two wins of the second place BE team to grab the Gator Bowl bid. This leaves a little room for a potential wiggle. Assuming Notre Dame beats Syracuse, that means that the second place BE team needs to finish with 10 wins to lock out ND. IF, and only if, Pittsburgh wins out (no easy task), and Cincinnati otherwise wins out, that could happen. Cincinnati plays 13 games this year, due to their end of the year jaunt to Hawaii. Argh, if Pitt only had beaten Bowling Green, this would be much easier.

While speculation continues to center around Joe Paterno's future at Penn State following hip replacement surgery, he's likely not going anywhere according to PSU recruits from this year's class.

"And I get the feeling that when Coach Paterno does move on, he will be replaced by someone on his staff.

"But [Paterno] did tell me, 'Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere for the next couple of years.'"

This is too fitting, unfortunately:

Just days away from reaching the Azores, a Rutgers University undersea robot went missing after "phoning home" a damage report in the midst of its record-setting trans-Atlantic mission.

The autonomous underwater vehicle RU17, dubbed the Scarlet Knight for this mission, set a record voyage of more than 3,500 miles before it disappeared. Rutgers scientists, who last heard from the probe Oct. 28, had held out hope it might reactivate its satellite telephone in the coming days.

Rutgers is receiving an $8 million grant from the NIMJ.

NJ's budget deficit has tripled to $1.2 billion.