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News and links roundup for 1/25

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  • Hooray, wrestling. Rutgers beat a top 10 Virginia Tech team. There are still some tough games matches left on the schedule though. Wrestling's success is a real credit to the athletic department and everybody involved with the program. It is a great model for turning around the school's other Olympic sports. One thing though: can everybody involved please just agree on one standard poll ranking system instead of just selectively quoting whichever one is the most favorable?
  • What's this about the Big East negotiating a new television deal with ESPN? Could there be any connection to the latest round of Villanova football rumors? I'm not familiar with Kevin McGuire, but he deserves a lot of credit for being out in front on this story.
  • Rutgers officially filled out the 2011 schedule with North Carolina Central, continuing the recent trend of bringing in a MEAC opponent every year. It's hard to get too upset about the choice of opponent considering that they're about on the level that everyone was expecting. In fact, while people don't usually send me in tips, one reader actually knew about this game a month ago, although I wasn't able to able to corroborate it by finding any information on NC Central's end.
  • And with that so go any dreams of scheduling TCU and/or Texas Tech next year. Texas Tech dropping a road game at TCU is pretty crummy, considering that TCU has started to build some recruiting momentum off their Rose Bowl win and looming Big East membership. Not only do they have to replace that home game, but the Mountain West is going to move another one to Boise. Tech is still apparently looking for a road game this year, so that could have been a good opportunity if RU was still scrambling for games. The Rutgers schedule is solidly booked through the next few years though. (This is where I'd mention the news item from Rivals premium again if it were ever publicly reported.)
  • The rumor mill at Ohio State has moved away from P.J. Fleck as a candidate to be their next receivers coach.
  • Top soccer assistant Charlie Inverso is leaving after a year to take the HC job at Rider. Inverso was seen as a critical hire for Dan Donigan (both had strong ties to Mercer County), who will now need to find a replacement.
  • Dan Levy's son was diagnosed with hemophilia. The Rutgers athletic community has been beyond supportive with Eric LeGrand and Brayden Carr as of late. As you may recall, last year a fan told Jim Carr (the Director of Basketball Operations) about a Newsweek article on the epilepsy program at St. Barnabas in Livingston. I read Dan's post and immediately googled the local children's hospitals, and read about a local foundation in East Brunswick. It's a shot in the dark, but you never know if one reader will have a great insight. Eric, Brayden, and Max are all fortunate enough to receive excellent medical treatment, and to be surrounded by people that care about them.
  • With Joe Lefeged being named to the Senior Bowl, he was recently on the CFB Insiders podcast. Haven't had a chance to listen to this one yet. Lefeged picked Jake Locker on Monday, but one report had him as playing poorly.
  • Brian Bennett looks at the 2010 Big East attendance figures. Honestly Rutgers didn't fare too badly considering that students didn't go to the Meadowlands. and there was a sparse crowd for Louisville. With fans sticking through until the team really looked beaten at the end of last year, that could be a good sign of attendance staying power IF the results improve on the field.
  • The inductee lineup for this weekend's N.J. Sportswriters Hall of Fame dinner includes Bill Austin, Fred Hill Sr., Tashia Pointer, Geoff Billet, and Eric Murdock.
  • Tampa Bay is moving back to a man blocking scheme, which is probably bad news for Jeremy Zuttah. Time to start dreaming about him succeeding O'Hara with the Giants again considering that he's blocked at center by Jeff Faine.
  • If you've been to New Brunswick lately after a long absence, you might be wondering what that huge building going up by the train station is (at the old NJ Books site). It's the Gateway Center, and it's opening in a year and a half (which is ahead of schedule).
  • Rutgers alum Bob Simms sees the College Football Hall of Fame moving from South Bend to Atlanta. Won't anyone stick up for New Brunswick?
  • Will Google de-fang Bleacher Report? The SEO farm stuff doesn't even bother me as much as BR's continued presence in Google News.