Our first installment had The Sporting News dumping pretty heavily on the Knights. Today in USA Today it doesn’t get much better.
Their "Big Question" is pretty straight forward: "Will this schedule be too much to bear? Rutgers draws all of the Big Ten’s best this year, five of them in a six week span from Oct. 4 against Michigan to Nov. 22 at Michigan State. Forecasting more than a couple of wins would be out of bounds." Hmm, silver lining time. Are they saying a couple of Big Ten wins? If they are, then personally I’m not that upset.
USA Today highlights a few key players. Steve Longa on defense, Kyle Federico and Janarion Grant on special units. It also keys in on All-AAC first team players Paul James and Tyler Kroft. But it also points out that Gary Nova, a 28 game starter, had an open competition against Mike Bimonte and Chris Laviano in the spring. Doesn’t say a lot for QB experience.
Recruiting was another weak area. With a C- grade, Rutgers was better than only Illinois (D) and Purdue (D+). And neither the Illini nor the Boilermakers are in our division or on this year's schedule. Like everyone, it seems, USA Today highlight the fact that the top 15 New Jersey players moved out of state for their college football. At least in Michigan’s A- class they don’t mention that Jabrill Peppers is from the Garden State.
Interestingly, Leonte Carroo and Kaleb Johnson both make USA Today’s Preseason All-Conference squad.
Predicted Finish: B1G East 7th
All Conference Players from RU: Leonte Carroo and Kaleb Johnson; none on defense
Recruiting: C- ahead of only Illinois and Purdue
So, is USA Today on target? Are they off? Do they even know where Rutgers is located? Your turn.
Up next: Athlon Sports