I'm sticking to my guns here - Rutgers/Syracuse won't be very close. Injuries hurt the Orange this year, but the end result probably wasn't ever going to be much different. At least they have an excuse now. The Syracuse side seems to think that Rutgers and/or Schiano have it out for the Cuse, but I'm not really feeling that on our end. The recent SI fan poll seems to concur. UConn is the #1 Rutgers in-conference rival, and even that takes a back seat to OOC grudges.
The feeling is mutual, but the conference team I can't stand the most is USF. In terms of a rivalry, it's going to be hard to top the last two games. If you had mid-November in the annual USF NCAA violations lottery, it's time to collect your prize. There's just such a stark contrast between the two athletic departments in all aspects that I can't think of a better villain in-conference. I used to admire how far they had come in so little time, but now all I have is scorn.
Coach Schiano's stated policy is to never relent in the first half of any game, but I honestly don't see the impetus for treating this game unlike any other. In fact, there might even be some potential for Army-style sleepwalking through the second and third quarters. Won't matter in the end, though. Since the NCAA doesn't actually recognize both FCS victories, a victory would put Rutgers at seven wins in my book.
Sure, point to Ray Rice and Scott Vallone, but overall the two both programs have very different talent footprints. It seems like the press just keeps trying to push and force this angle because it's the path of least resistance, even though it's more myth than reality, and the Rutgers side doesn't care all that much. I mean, their kicker, Ryan Lichtenstein, trained with a former RU letterwinner who helped shock the Orange(men) back in '99.
Either way, the fastest everyone can get over MBB almost blowing it to Drexel, the better. Talent's there, but this is going to be a long, long year. Can't we all just agree to another month of college football, at least until the NFL season ends?
Get psyched about the redshirts with Aditi's story about the totally awesome scout team. Not all will pan out, but Vallone's success shows that some of them will. Not sure how impressed to be with knocking heads with this year's OL though.
Dave Caldwell's back in the NY Times with a story about the McCourty twins. Here's a recent thought about DMC: he's starting to get some buzz as the best corner in the Big East this year. What about on a national stage? Eric Berry is the best defensive back in the country, and Joe Haden from Florida is pretty good, sure. Doesn't it seem like it's almost impossible to get any All-American consideration if you're (fairly or not), under the national radar? That's how a George Selvie somehow keeps getting votes.
I'm not saying that McCourty definitely deserves it, but shouldn't people at least be watching the tape and then making up their minds? I mean, a Jeremy Zuttah or Eric Foster can play absolutely out of their minds in 2006-2007, and no one on the national level knows about anyone on the roster besides Ray Rice. No one knows about all the other players on those teams who made the NFL, or Britt last year. Can anyone who doesn't follow the program even name a player on the roster besides Anthony Davis? Because the college football landscape is so geared towards the Midwest and the South, Big East football just doesn't have all that much in the way of a national profile. Coverage doesn't directly correspond with success, and that's frustrating.
UConn's the better team, and Notre Dame has an awful secondary, but I can't shake the fear that Zach Frazer is going to blow it today.