Who else was sulking on Tuesday? It was rough, considering that I didn't take all that much bad from the loss as attributable to systemic flaws. I'm more the type to stumble around all day, never really had all that much use for venting. Now, it's time to move forward.
Early projections for attendance Saturday look to be between 45,000 and 49,000. That was always the downside to opening up with a good team. There's not a lot of appeal with a couple of the home matchups this year, although it'll be nice to see an easy victory after Monday. I haven't had a chance to post about the expansion yet, but there was a great atmosphere at the stadium for the opener. Everything felt like an event; you know a big deal. There's an appeal in going just for that factor. Anyway, all the press blogs have a lot more post-mortem stuff up, none of which I feel all that much like dissecting at the moment, for obvious reasons. Any masochists out there can watch Coach Schiano's presser.
As far as FIU goes, Rutgers will beat them, handily, but they're at least looking a little feisty. Bruce Feldman has a new story up about their young coach Mario Cristobal (a former Rutgers assistant that everyone in Jersey speaks very highly of still), and how he's rebuilding the program by following the Rutgers model.
Fred Hill just signed a senior guard out of Kosovo, presumably for the purpose of filling out roster depth in light of Corey Chandler's departure. He probably won't be much of a contributor. Is Billy Baron no longer an option?
Brian Bennett had a very interesting post yesterday about the possibility of starting up a bowl in New York City; it seems that last week's report out of Big Ten land may not have been fully accurate. Yankee Stadium makes more sense if this is just to get rid of Toronto or Birmingham, but I'd rather see it in Giants Stadium (for the capacity) if the bowl ever becomes a mid-level destination game. I'm still wondering when we'll hear any more substantive info on the new bowl lineup.
Kenny Britt will probably see the first start of his career tomorrow against the Steelers, in Tennessee's regular season debut, and the kickoff to the NFL season. The Titans like to run the ball, but it's a great opportunity for Britt to make a splash on the national stage. His competition at receiver, Nate Washington, is slowly recovering, but probably will sit out. Yeah, Britt is a rookie, but come on. I know he was reported as having a good camp, but Nate Washington is nothing more than a modern day Alvin Harper. Dude can run deep, and that's about it. Rookie or not, Britt is better, both in the short and long term, and needs to get all the touches possible from day one.
One other note: word out of Seattle has been that Mike Teel did have an impressive training camp and preseason, but I heard (re: not reported in public) yesterday that their coaching staff is even higher on him than has been previously reported. Like, on the level of Schiano's opinion of Teel. Old habits die hard, and Mike is a hard worker and a film junkie that coaches seem to gravitate towards. Grain of salt, but that's something to file away for now and watch over the coming months. All of this did make me wonder whether it was worth looking at Monday and even last season in a different light.
Also, I'm psyched about Comcast adding the red zone channel for Sunday's openers.
Ouch, Maryland is losing its best lineman at least for one game. This is a big deal if Campbell's injury lingers on for a while.
The Rutgers AAUP chapter voted to approve a freeze in their negotiated pay raises in light of recent fiscal shortfalls.
The recession is stemming the tide of New Jerseyans who go out of state for college, by a bit. Can't really afford to be bleeding that much human capital over the long run.
For those keeping score, Governor candidate Chris Christie (or, one of his staffers) did give a shoutout to Rutgers football on his Twitter account on Monday. A thread on Rivals reported that he was wearing red too. Neither's all that substantive, but Gov. Corzine probably could have matched the gestures with a modicum of effort. Someone told me that he actually was near campus earlier in the day for an AAUP event, although I wasn't able to verify that or not. Again, it wasn't any sort of sign of intent, and the guy does have his hands full at the moment, although something would have been nice. I don't know if he'll attend any games, given his schedule and the possibility of running into an unfriendly audience. When it comes to Christie, he talks a nice game with the football team, but to this point hasn't offered any meaningful policy details regarding higher education or Rutgers University.
edit: correction - multiple commentators have said that Corzine WAS in attendance. Duly noted.
However, one political battle where the Rutgers communiy should definitively weigh in on one side is the current struggle in the State Senate between Dick Codey and Stephen Sweeney. While Codey is a SHU booster, he has been a strong friend to Rutgers football, and one of the most vocal critics of George Zoffinger. Not only does Sweeney suffer in comparison, but he was one of several legislators that mistakenly bought into Zoffinger's smears last year. Unlike a general election for Governor, the average New Jerseyan doesn't have any say over what goes on in Trenton backrooms. However, if anyone is in a position to make a difference here, they really ought to strongly support Codey in his bid to keep the Senate presidency.