Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Our First Spring Motivator

From CFN, talking about Rutgers here...

It's O.K. to talk national championship. The team should be better than last year, and the schedule, once again, isn't all that bad. The only non-conference game worthy of showing up for is a home date with Maryland, while West Virginia and South Florida have to come to Piscataway. The road games? Syracuse, Connecticut and Army before what might be the make-or-break game in the in the regular season finale against Louisville for, yes, the BCS championship game.

There are two obvious problems with this statement. First, this is major college football, you need to show up for any game no matter who you are. While Rutgers may not need to bring 100% intensity to beat the likes of Norfolk St. or Buffalo, I can guarantee you after last year's loss the Midshipmen are going to bring it, and they will be fired up for the upset. Second, to assume Maryland has a better chance at upsetting Rutgers doesn't make a ton of sense. Are they a better overall team then Navy? Probably. Are they that much better. No. If Navy goes into their week two matchup against Rutgers (televised nationally on ESPN) with the intensity and focus we have come to expect from a Paul Johnson coached team, and if Rutgers comes in overlooking the Midshipmen, there is no reason Navy can't pull an upset, or at least play competitively with the Scarlet Knights. Remember, this was a very close game until two third-quarter blocked punts last year, even without Brian Hampton at the helm for Navy. Don't pencil this one in as a "sure win" for Rutgers just yet.


Gary said...

I think Rutgers was handed a "nice schedule" that will enable them to win the Big East and get to that major BCS game that they got screwed out of last year vs WVU.
They get the teams they need to at home and there are so many "soft" games that even while they still have to show up- they can still win large.
As for the Navy (I am a huge Mid fan)game that one scares me as Navy will either win a close game or get demolished like last year.
1. Rutgers Stadium will be insane.
2. Its a Friday night ESPN game and will add to the insanity.
3.It will be the 1st legit game as their opener amounts to little more than a scrimmage for them.
4.Rutgers will want to prove last year was no fluke.
5. Navy better hope Kaipo does not suffer Scarlet fever like last year if he is in there (he was a deer stuck in headlights).
6. Navy seems to be a slow starting team and with so many new players on both sides that could prove to be too much.
7. Ray Rice vs inexperienced Navy D-TROUBLE.

But Navy has to start winning these type of games against quality teams (they have more than before with Pitt-Wake-ND-Rutgers)while they run up impressive numbers much of it is against the lower tier teams.

Kudos to Rutgers fans they deserve the exposure they got last year and this year there are no tickets to be had.

But I have to ask just how loyal these fans are when for the prior hundred so years the fan base was apathetic and non existent and you could not get 15,000 in that place?

That aside they sure are a noisy bunch as they showed at Annapolis last year and Navy will be in for a tough night in week 2 that could let us see how good the Mids really are.

Adam said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm also worried about the amount of time Rutgers gets to prepare. Schiano will have his guys doing prep work weeks before this game since the Knights start with Norfolk St. then play Buffalo.

I still think the Navy team will be more "pumped" to play this game than Rutgers though. It will be interesting to see how the Scarlet Kngihts play as a team without the likes of the Leonards or the Harris', who knew what 1-10 felt like and never overlooked opponents...

Gary said...

Agreed- we know that Coach J. will have the Mids ready to go and maybe-maybe that pumped up crowd could play against Rutgers.
We need to catch them before they get on a roll as opposed to laast year when they were steamrolling into Annapolis.
My take exactly on Leonard leaving-HE was the KEY player for them and they will miss all he did.
We have to be 100% healthy and catch Rutgers (over confident)napping and a bit jittery and we MUST take an early lead.
Too bad they did not have a "real" game the 1st week.
While we should beat Temple-that could be a tough game.