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Spanning the End of the Year: a final 2015 look at college sports stuff

2015 will certainly go down as a tumultuous one in Rutgers sports history. But put that aside for now. We've got other stuff from around the college sports scene that will intrigue and entertain. Read on, faithful readers.

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Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers Football Season Tickets

The RU ticket office opened sale this week for season tickets for 2016.  There were more than a few folks who said that if Flood was back, they would never renew.  Whew!

For what it's worth, the online site has a neat new feature that gives you a view of what it looks like from your seat.  You can see the "3D" view of your seats so you know in advance where you are.  Pretty cool, if not fantastic.

Women's Soccer Update - BREAKING NEWS!!

Three Rutgers women's soccer players were named to the 2015 Women's DI Best XI teams. Sophomore goalkeeper Casey Murphy was placed on the first team, senior defender Brianne Reed earned second team honors, and senior defender Erica Skroski collected third team laurels.

Which job is better

As the Flood era - and other coaching "eras" - was ending, there were any number of stories ranking the best jobs in college football.  In a few, Rutgers wasn't the best nor the worst.  Just the other day, Ken Niumatalolo, the head coach at Navy, decided that staying in Annapolis was better than heading west to Provo and BYU.  Niumatalolo is a practicing Mormon and said the BYU job was "was just different" and was of interest.  Just this past Monday, the question was asked by Matt Brown:

Maybe it's my East Coast bias speaking, but despite the academic and physical restrictions at Navy, I think Navy is a better gig.  The history, tradition, and dedication of the players - and the student body - sorta sells it for me.  Whatcha think?

Speaking of coaching  jobs....

How good a job is Butch Davis doing at Tennessee?  Well, with a 2-3 start and as late as October 3, there were those calling for his job. That may have cooled a bit  An 8-4 final tally can do that.  And for that....

Close loss to Alabama.  Five wins to close the season.  Pretty good, but.....

Big Ten Men's Basketball Weekly Honors

Co-Players of the Week

Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa, F - Sr.

  • Averaged 29.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game versus Western Illinois and #4/2 Iowa State

Melo Trimble, Maryland, G - So.

  • Averaged 21.5 points and 3.5 assists per game in leading the Terrapins to wins over Connecticut and Maryland-Eastern Shore

Freshman of the Week

Caleb Swanigan, Purdue, F

  • Averaged 15.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game in leading the Boilermakers to wins over IUPUI, Howard and Youngstown State

Big Ten Women's Basketball Weekly Honors

Player of the Week
Rachel Banham, Minnesota, G - Sr.

  • Led the Golden Gophers to a win over Memphis with 23 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals

Big Ten Women Player of the Week Honor Roll

  • Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Jr., G, MD: Shot 64 percent (16-25) from the field with 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the Terrapins' wins over Loyola (Md.) and Southern 
  • Aerial Powers, Jr., F, MSU: Led the Spartans to a pair of road wins against Davidson and Oakland with 20.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals
  • Kelsey Mitchell, So., G, OSU: Tallied 22 points, six assists and three steals, while not committing a single turnover in the Buckeyes' win over North Carolina A&T

Freshman of the Week
Alex Wittinger, Illinois, F

  • Averaged 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 blocks in a pair of wins over Southern Illinois and Central Michigan

All sports count

If you read my stuff here, you know that I think all sports - not just football and basketball - are important and should get their recognition.  It isn't a view held by everyone.  The Big Ten, though, seems to feel that all sports have value - look at the BTN lineup and you see more than the two big sports.  And the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup agrees.  It takes into account all sports as it determines the best overall program.  Come the new year, we'll look at it more closely, but know that as of the end of the soccer season, Rutgers is 25th in the standings among D1/FBS schools. But here's a stat that impressed me even more:

Every year a national title.  For the last 40 years.  Rutgers has one.  Ever.  But, you know, Stanford doesn't have any academic standards standing in the way of athletic success.

Which, of course, brings us to gymnastics

It seemed like a natural transition to me.

Defending Big Ten women's gymnastics champion Michigan was named the favorite in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Big Ten also announced the 2016 Gymnasts to Watch List, with eight returning All-Big Ten standouts headlining the list. Last season, the Wolverines won the Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championship after finishing with a 9-0 conference record and earned the 2015 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships title.


  1. Michigan
  2. Nebraska
  3. Illinois
  4. Penn State
  5. Ohio State
  6. Minnesota
  7. Iowa
  8. Michigan State
  9. Maryland
  10. Rutgers


April Baker, Jr.

Baker has seen action in all four events for the Scarlet Knights, holding career-highs of 9.875 on vault, 9.875 on floor exercise, 9.825 on uneven bars and 9.675 on balance beam. She finished last season by recording a 9.800 on vault and a 9.750 on floor exercise at the Big Ten Championships.

Elizabeth Groden, So.

As a freshman in 2015, Groden qualified for NCAA Regionals as an all-arounder and posted a 38.850 with a high of 9.800 on balance beam.She also earned a spot on the NACGC/W Scholastic All-America team.

Hey, Heisman Committee and ESPN, you should have invited Keenan Reynolds

There were three finalists for the Heisman this year.  And apparently a lot of people didn't care.

ESPN expanded the show to 90 minutes, which is probably 85 minutes longer than it needs to be.  There was also the snub of Navy's Keenan Reynolds, not even inviting him to the ceremony, that ticked off a lot of people....understandably.

Our moment of zen

How much is anyone worth to their employer?  How much should anyone get paid.  How about a strength coach for the football team?   In Alabama football, which admittedly is on another planet, it's all Monopoly money.  Consider their strength coach who will make $420,000.

It is a scary world.