Category Archives: NCAA Football

Bill O’Brien needs to stop talking about loyalty

To me there are few things more annoying in sports then a college coach who talks about loyalty when it is so obvious that they don’t mean it at all.

Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien is just the latest one.

Here is what he told Pennlive.com:

“I’m not a one-and-done guy,I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.” 

He interviewed for a job with the Cleveland Browns this week. If he made a commitment and wasn’t going to “cut and run” why did he take the interview? His buyout is somewhere north of $9 million according to Fox and that is one of the two reasons he is still the coach at Penn State with the other being that he got an extra $1.3 million courtesy of the owner of the Buffalo Bills. Why didn’t he mention that in his statement?

I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t have a problem with college coaches making the jump to the NFL because of the limited number of those jobs and the chances to get them but please spare the BS about loyalty, commitment and integrity. Bill O’Brien is not the first or the last but it is a shame that we continue to let these guys have a pass.
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Rutgers reaches stadium naming rights deal – ESPN

Rutgers reaches stadium naming rights deal – Big East Blog – ESPN


Rutgers Stadium will now be known as High Point Solutions Stadium. I am somewhat surprised that Rutgers is only the 10th Football Bowl Subdivision school to sell their stadium naming rights. There are five other teams who share a stadium with an NFL team. 
While it sucks as a traditionalist this is the new reality in sports. As a season ticket holder I loved the new expansion to the stadium and obviously ticket sales alone weren’t going to pay for that.

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State of Rutgers Football

As a very disappointing season comes to a close I just want to take a moment to think about where the Rutgers Football program stands at the moment.

There is no way around it. The program did take a step back this year but it is not the end of the world. The last 2 home games there was a lot of talk at the stadium about the need to fire Head Coach Greg Schiano but I couldn’t agree less with that sentiment. The recruiting classes are consistently getting better. The players at the skill positions are not the problem. Hopefully the problems with the offensive line are fixed next year. Next to injuries it was the biggest issue that plagued the team with the departure of a solid line from last year that also included the first round pick for the San Franciso 49ers, Anthony Davis.

The fan base is part of the problem right now too. This team hasn’t had a home field advantage (except for Thursday night games). There are just too many people coming to the games who hopped on the bandwagon in 2006 and just haven’t gotten off of it yet. There are way too many people coming to the games who just aren’t real fans. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times in the last few years that the crowd has left early despite what the final score ends up being. The West Virginia game last year really annoyed me. The team went down 21-3 early and half the crowd early to watch the Yankees/Angels playoff game. The game ended up going down to the wire but less than half the crowd was there to watch the finish.

As crazy as it sounds there are just too many people at these games who have no idea how to react to game situations. It drives me crazy when Rutgers is facing a key 3rd down play on the offense and a certain portion of the crowd just starts getting loud as the offense gets to the line and tries to listen to signals from the quarterback yet the same people are completely quiet when the team faces a big 3rd down play while on defense.

Schiano spoke to the media today about his message to the fan base,

Well, certainly I feel their frustration because there’s no one on the planet that’s more frustrated than I am. So can I feel their frustration? 50 times over. Because they’re frustrated, but then they go do a job or they go back to their family or they do something; my frustration doesn’t end. So yes, I feel their frustration. Sure, I do.

I can tell you this, though: I’m betting that the Rutgers people — the real Rutgers fans — are going to stick with this football team and this coaching staff because we’re going to get this fixed. This isn’t the end of the world. It’s disappointing, it’s sad that it had to happen. But this program is built, as I said in the beginning, on a rock-solid foundation. This storm won’t knock us off that foundation. And we’ll come back stronger.

So that’s what I say to our fans — we’ll be back. Our true fans will stick with us. The bandwagon fans will be there when we win again. And that’s life. I don’t have any ill feelings towards that. I’m in a profession that’s a very competitive profession. It’s entertainment. And when it doesn’t go well, people aren’t entertained. I understand that.

We’re in a big-time market. It’s great when you’re doing well and it’s tough when you’re not. I don’t wish that away. I enjoy that

It is a sad reality that is not just a problem at Rutgers but around the sporting world. As ticket prices go up, the real fan is getting priced out of the stadiums and arenas around the country. There are too many people at sporting events who are only there because they got tickets through work because the company they work for is a sponsor  or just happens to have seats. These people couldn’t care less about the game.

I don’t understand the people who continue to criticize the stadium expansion that happened before the 2009 story. Every blog post, tweet and conversation mentions that Rutgers didn’t sell out any games this year but I haven’t yet seen one mention that for all but one (an 11 AM kickoff on a Friday) game this year the team sold more tickets then the old capacity. Same was true last year. The expansion was needed because of the amount of people that were on the waiting list. Stadium will fill up again and do so very soon. The same people who are complaining now would have complained had the team expanded in phases instead of just adding the 10,000 seats in one spring.

There is a good read today from Dave D’Alessandro saying that the Rutgers season ended when Eric LeGrand got hurt. It is hard to argue against that. Yes, the team had some major weaknesses that were exposed early but the fact that they haven’t been even a half way decent team down the stretch definitely has something to do with LeGrand going down. That is one of the big reasons why I haven’t been as hard on this team as I probably would have been with the Bowl streak coming to an end. These are just kids. Just out of High School and they were on the field as one of their own got paralyzed and has been fighting an uphill battle ever since. By the way, please consider donating to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund“. For every one Reggie Bush (or Cam Newton if this story goes the way it looks like it will) there are thousands of college athletes who go out there and risk their health because they love the game. The medical bills will be very high and it has been good to see the sports community do their part.
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Parachuting into Michigan Stadium

No matter who you root for in College Football, you have to admit this video is fantastic

Sgt. Adam Sniffen from the 101st Airborne Division delivers the game ball via parachute before the Michigan vs. MSU game at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 9, 2010.


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Eric LeGrand – Rutgers Football

If you follow me on twitter you’ve heard me mention that I have not yet watched a game of Rutgers Football this season due to a bunch of different reasons. I’ve been keeping an eye out on the program as always though.

By now most sports fans have already seen the clip of it but Junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury in the game against Army this past Saturday at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The hit paralyzed him from the neck down. LeGrand, who’s a local kid grew up just a short drive away in Avenel, NJ.

The video of the hit is up on YouTube. It’s the risk you take in a sport like football. We’ve all seen hits that looked far worse but somehow not cause any injury, unfortunately this one wasn’t one of those.

Head Coach Greg Schiano did speak to the media today.




“Here’s the situation: This is going to be a long, long hard road back and there’s going to be speculation and a lot of friends and people who care,” 
“I think it’s important that we stay away from those kinds of things,” Schiano said. “I think there’s so much out there and a lot of it is misguided. Right now, when it’s appropriate, we will make an announcement if there’s any kind of change in his condition. But it’s not going to be a day-to-day thing.”

He appeared on ESPN’s College Football Live and WFAN with Mike Francesa.

Rutgers Athletics released the following Press Release earlier today:

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (October 17, 2010) – Rutgers junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (Avenel, N.J.) suffered a spinal cord injury in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game vs. Army. The injury was at the C3-C4 level and emergency surgery was performed by doctors throughout the night at Hackensack University Medical Center to stabilize the spine. 

“We want to say thank you to everyone for all of your prayers, kind words, and well wishes,” the LeGrand family said. “We appreciate every single thought. Eric is in good spirits and we are praying for a full recovery.”

Eric is resting in the intensive care unit at Hackensack University Medical Center and will remain there for the near future. Currently, he has no movement below the neck.

“Eric, his family and the Rutgers Football family believe he will recover,” said Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano. “We ask our fans and the entire Rutgers community to believe and pray for Eric as he begins the recovery process.” SEND ERIC YOUR GET WELL WISHES

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13 (not a typo) year old kid makes a verbal commitment to USC Football

We always hear discussions about how young is too young when it comes to professional sports. NBA raised the age limit a few years ago so you now have to be one year removed from high School to be eligible for the NBA draft. MLB players get drafted out of High School but most do go improve their skills in the minor leagues before making the jump to MLB. I think NFL does it the best way. Guys have to be 3 years removed from High School to get drafted. Hockey players get thrown into the NHL at a ridiculously young age but their talents are a little bit more harnessed than other sports because of the Junior Hockey setup in Canada. The one major problem in all of these setups is that most of these guys get no real life trainings and if they don’t make in sports, their lives are pretty much ruined.

This is why this story has me angry. Yes, you read that right. A 13 year old kid has just given a verbal commitment to play college football at the University of Southern California for Coach Lane Kiffin. Read that again….13 years old. Are you kidding me? That kid isn’t even in High School yet. Has no idea what the real world is….and he’s making a college commitment? Do USC boosters have cars, clothes and shoes lined up for this kid already?

These are the kind of parents that anger me. This kid seriously has a Quarterback coach? Why do these psycho parents do this? If you have the next Joe Montana sitting at home, let him find his talent. Let him enjoy the game. It is pathetic that these losers have to compensate for their failures in all things athletics by basically using their kids as chess pieces. I’m still tying to get my head around this story. He is 13 years old. Let the kid enjoy his childhood. He should be playing NCAA Football on an Xbox 360….not making a commitment to a real college team.

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Rutgers Football – Great for College Football

The year hasn’t exactly gone as fans of RU football had hoped it would. The Thursday night win against Louisville last year has given a new mindset to college football fans in New Jersey. The win last night against South Florida was a much needed one. The team needed some credibility and last night provided that. As tough as losing to Maryland and Cincinnati was, last night we forgot about that. I have lived in New Jersey for 7 years and have never seen this kind of excitement for the Devils or Nets…..ever. Doesn’t matter where you go in the area, New Jersey has Scarlet Fever.
A record crowd of 44,627 including among others David Wright, Michael Strahan, Jason Kidd (missed the Nets game because of an “injury”) and Kevin James. ESPN at times tries too hard to make it seem like RU is New York’s team. All you see on the broadcasts are the Empire State Building and the rest of the NYC skyline like it’s just a couple of blocks from the stadium. The strategy is brilliant. As big as college football is one thing it has missed is a strong presence in the biggest media market of them all….New York City. Rutgers is the answer to that. Granted we need a couple more years of consistency to get to that level but this team is well on its way.
Schiano has done a good job spreading the “State of Rutgers” as he calls it. Reaching out into NYC and Philadelphia gives him another recruiting base and also builds the fanbase in those two cities. The fan base that exists already (including the bandwagon fans) has been phenomenal. The atmosphere in and out of the stadium is electric.

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