Free Candy?

Friday, October 15, 2010

I don't know if I will stream the Rutgers/Army game this time, but I will probably have the chance to. If there is any outcry at all for this game I will do my best to get the game out there.

1st college game at the new Meadowlands? I personally think it deserves top national billing, but I don't work for ESPN and they know their demographics better than I do. However if there is as much as one comment requesting my choppy, grainy stream... I will do everything I can to make the game available.
Drop me a comment or e-mail me at unbalancedlineblog(at) if you don't have any way to see the game and we can discuss our options.


Looking at Rutgers

This one cracked me up...

More importantly, Dodd's steady play has to continue. If he can pick apart Army's weak secondary and build an early lead, then the Black Knights will become one-dimensional, and abandon their comfort zone. While all of the uncertainty surrounding defending the option could make the score too close for comfort, higher expectations make this much more of a must-win for Rutgers than it is for Army. If Dodd and the offense can muster a repeat performance, then that is just what will happen.

I'm still trying to figure out if that's a troll.
Another favorable preview, by another partisan Rutgers fan. You would think Dodd has channeled Mike Teel's in his final game wearing carlet.

I wish I had ESPN 3 because I would witness Chas Dodd "pick apart Army's weak secondary." That's some hilarious bullshit right there.
Chas Dodd is going to get touched... hard. I have a pretty good feel for  a season's events and Josh McNary is due to tee off on some undersized frosh QB. I can't say it will happen... but he is due to light somebody up.

Defensive MVP, LB Josh McNary -- Through six games, McNary has seven sacks, which already is tied for second on the Army season list. He is on pace to break the single-season record he set last season (12.5). He ranks second on the team with 31 tackles, and leads with 9.5 for a loss.

If McNary can get to Dodd early he might even have the chance to incapacitate two Rutgers QBs in one game. Again - don't know if that will transpire, but if there was a game in the 2010 season where those kind of unfortunate events could happen... that game would be this next one in New Jersey.


You can tell the players are up for this one. What looked like a definite test before the season looks to be just another game for the road warriors.

Looking at the TV/Internet situation for this one... it doesn't look good.
I would do my part to get the game out there, but alas, I don't have ESPN 3. If I can find a place to see the game on the ol' laptop I will do my best to get it out there... but I am extremely doubtful about that happening.

The game will be replayed on Wednesday on the SNY network, but it is highly unlikely that the rerun will be streamed either. 

Army fans should be glad the Black Knights switched over their home television rights from ESPN to CBS College Sports Network last season because they could be in the same situation as Rutgers, which had its Oct. 2 home game against Tulane streamed through

Set your DVRs for Wednesday, Oct. 30, that’s when the encore presentation of Army-Rutgers will air at 7 p.m. on SNY.

I'm an optimistic guy and I like Army's chances. The game should be a good one, and you can count on Army playing every down, every series start to finish. I know it will be a tough game, but why does it seem like Rutgers partisans are trying to convince themselves of something?

Rutgers’ defense proved through its first five games that it can hold any offense, anywhere, and ranks second in the nation in third-down conversion percentage behind Texas Christian, allowing 15 conversions in 65 attempts.
While Rutgers ranks behind TCU percentage-wise, its 15 conversions allowed is the lowest number in the nation.
The Knights rank fourth in the nation in total first downs allowed, with 12.4 per game, but the 62 times opponents moved the chains is the second lowest total.
The Knights are one of two teams in the nation that have not allowed a fourth-down conversion this season, and they faced it five times.
Rutgers’ time of possession is third best in the nation, and it is not because of lengthy drives put together by a dominant attack. It is because the defense creates three-and-out after three-and-out and key stop after key stop.

Very easy to reference your statistical outliers when you play the 5th lightest schedule of all BCS conference teams.

Sal has a game preview up, a pretty good read.


Keep Choppin'

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I almost feel bad dropping this one after finding out that my old blogger friends are back blogging over at Beat Visitor, but nobody else seems to want to take Rutgers to task for their continuing athletic fraud. I'm not talking about the state of New Jersey's finances in relation to the product that the Scarlet Knights football team puts on the field. That fiscal argument nonsensical blather.

My complaint with Rutgers is real.
In the last decade Rutgers has emerged as a winner within the Big East and an occasional late season player in the yearly BCS running. In that same ten year period RU has beaten all of ten teams that finished in the top 50 of chi-square linear W/L rankings. We will look at Rutgers' victories over the last ten years....

H/A Win  Score (opp. record) rank Opponent
Rutgers      2010 3-2
H W 31-0 (2-3)       367 Norfolk State College
A W 19-14 (1-4)     177 Florida International
H W 27-24 (3-3)       79 Connecticut

Rutgers      2009 9-4
H W 45-7 (2-9)       464 Howard University
H W 23-15 (3-9)     156 Florida International
A W 34-13 (2-10)   115 Maryland
H W 42-0 (6-5)       256 Texas Southern
A W 27-10 (5-7)     132 Army
A W 28-24 (8-5)       36 Connecticut
H W 31-0 (8-5)         52 South Florida
A W 34-14 (4-8)       86 Louisville
B W 45-24 (8-5)       64 Central Florida

Rutgers     2008 8-5
H W 38-0 (6-6)        241 Morgan State
H W 12-10 (8-5)        43 Connecticut
A W 54-34 (9-4)        26 Pittsburgh
H W 35-17 (3-9)      104 Syracuse
A W 49-16 (8-5)        45 South Florida
H W 30-3 (3-9)        132 Army
H W 63-14 (5-7)        86 Louisville
B W 29-23 (6-7)        47 North Carolina State

Rutgers      2007 8-5
H W 38-3 (5-7)        122 Buffalo
H W 41-24 (8-5)       74 Navy
H W 59-0 (8-3)       203 Norfolk State College
A W 38-14 (2-10)   121 Syracuse
H W 30-27 (9-4)       18 South Florida
A W 41-6 (3-9)       146 Army
H W 20-16 (5-7)       77 Pittsburgh
B W 52-30 (7-6)       89 Ball State

Rutgers      2006 11-2
A W 21-16 (3-9)      99 North Carolina
H W 33-0 (2-10)    112 Illinois
H W 24-7 (9-5)        75 Ohio University
H W 56-7 (5-6)      273 Howard University
A W 22-20 (9-4)      34 South Florida
A W 34-0 (9-4)        44 Navy
A W 20-10 (6-6)      49 Pittsburgh
H W 24-13 (4-8)      69 Connecticut
H W 28-25 (12-1)      4 Louisville
H W 38-7 (4-8)        68 Syracuse
B W 37-10 (7-6)      63 Kansas State

Rutgers      2005 7-5
H W 38-6 (4-7)     229 Villanova
A W 17-3 (1-10)   197 Buffalo
H W 37-29 (5-6)    58 Pittsburgh
A W 31-9 (1-10)  126 Syracuse
A W 26-24 (5-6)   82 Connecticut
H W 31-21 (8-4)   59 Navy
H W 44-9 (4-7)     93 Cincinnati

Rutgers      2004 4-7
H W 19-14 (5-7)  70 Michigan State
H W 29-21 (5-6) 134 Kent State
A W 37-34 (2-9) 110 Vanderbilt
H W 16-6 (2-9)   129 Temple

Rutgers      2003 5-7
H W 24-10 (1-11)  175 Buffalo
A W 36-21 (0-13)  206 Army
H W 48-27 (8-5)     75 Navy
A W 30-14 (1-11)  143 Temple
H W 24-7  (6-6)      66 Syracuse

Rutgers      2002 1-11
H W 44-0 (1-11)    262 Army

Rutgers      2001 2-9
A W 31-15 (3-8)   149 Buffalo
H W 23-17 (0-10) 165 Navy

Rutgers      2000 3-8
H W 34-21 (5-6)   165 Villanova
H W 59-0   (2-9)   238 Buffalo
A W 28-21 (1-10) 191 Navy

... and then we'll look at the games that stand out as the best wins for Rutgers in the 2000's.
Those teams represent the top teams the Scarlet Knights beat in the aughts and those teams' combined records stand at a lukewarm 84-45 in those years.

2009 (8-5) 36 Connecticut
2008 (8-5) 43 Connecticut
2008 (9-4) 26 Pittsburgh
2008 (8-5) 45 South Florida
2008 (6-7) 47 North Carolina State
2007 (9-4) 18 South Florida
2006 (9-4) 34 South Florida
2006 (9-4) 44 Navy
2006 (6-6) 49 Pittsburgh
2006 (12-1) 4 Louisville


That isn't the total record of the teams Rutgers beat (that number is 287-424) - that's the record of the best of the best teams Rutgers played in the last decade. Outside of RU's 2006 defeat of 12-1 Louisville none of the Scarlet Knights wins came against a 10 win team.

Teams schedule light for a reason - God knows, Army has been taking on softer schedules in an attempt to stay afloat. From my perspective what Rutgers is doing is outright fraud. At no point in their 20 year involvement with Big East football have Rutgers finished first in the league. It's one thing to schedule creampuffs to make a bowl game and achieve the top 25... it's another to schedule light solely to deceive recruits and rip off fans by masquerading as a BCS level program.

Rutgers fans will ask, "How is that any different than what Army is doing with their schedule?"
My response is simply - Rutgers is the team residing in a BCS conference and Rutgers is the program recruiting NFL talent. The pinnacle of this fraud can be seen on Rutgers' new athletics site, which annoyingly enough is a flash site with individual pages that I can't link out to.

Rutgers Football New Jersey's Team
 Rutgers is located in the heart of the world's largest media market.

New Jersey's team, huh?  #1 Media market?.. humbug. Though that main page photoshop is bad enough to make it seem like Rutgers Stadium was built on Ellis Island. Considering the history Army has playing games at the Polo grounds and in Yankee Stadium I'm going to suggest that New York City is belongs to Army. Saying something is fact is as simple as that.

Rutgers has caught the nation's attention in recent years, appearing on television in 60 of the last 62 games.
They have appeared on some form of national television in each of the last 39 contests.

Well, I don't think ESPN3 counts toward that, which is by itself is enough to piss me off. Way to showcase the New Meadowlands, "SUNJ".

Rutgers is a program that wants to believe that the nation's #1 media market is watching them; RU wants to believe that they are a BCS bowl contender (who knows, they just might win the Big East this year). But this dream that Rutgers has been anything resembling a top 60 program is simply make believe, and a disservice to Scarlet Knights fans and Rutgers recruits.

No matter how light Rutgers schedules, that's their prerogative, but the potential scenario that Rutgers can draw up a schedule similar to Army's, win 6 Big East games - and skate into a BCS game is mind blowing. I'm just thankful that RU just isn't good enough to produce those kinds of seasons.

As light as SUNJ does schedule, I can't get bent about Rutgers making room on their schedule for Army. That, to me, is what this is all about. Rutgers fans may want to drop Army to and schedule a BCS team, but that's just not what Rutgers is about. As it is, Army is Rutgers' 3rd most played Div 1-A opponent with 36 games. 

Syracuse         (40) 10-29-1
West Virginia (37) 4-31-2
Army               (36) 18-18-0

As much as they need to start scheduling tougher opponents, Rutgers can't claim the New York media market without playing and beating Army. Army runs New York, and SUNJ knows that. This weekend, in front of  "53 million broadband subscribers" Rutgers will play Army for bragging rights to New York City.

Since I have you worked up, vote for HC Rich Ellerson for coach of the year, Rutgers fans, I can't expect you to vote for either Ellerson or Schiano... I guess you all can just keep choppin'.

Army Tulane Wrap up

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Before we get into the Rutgers game, there are a  few more post Tulane stories floating around out there.

A New Orleans Times-Picayune writer laments Tulane's mishandling of the ball.

By the time Army (4-2) scored its fourth touchdown of the afternoon early in the third quarter, many of the green and white pom pom’s issued at the Superdome doors were strewn on the aisle floors though a sizeable portion of fans remained. But it didn’t get much better as the fourth quarter labored on.

Speaking of fun, Sal did an Army football chat on Monday night. I can't say enough about the job Sal is doing covering Army. I can speak to the point that, like me, Sal is an eternal optimist. Most fans that took part in the chat were not nearly as optimistic.

The chat has some bowl speculation and some needless worrying about Kent State.

It should be clear by now that the sky is the limit for Army football. If Army plays their game the Black Knights can play with any team on the schedule. There will be tests in a neutral site game at Notre Dame and home against Air Force - but realistically, Army should win 2 out of the next 3, and 3 out of the next 4 games.

We're getting ahead of ourselves looking down the schedule, the games have to be played, and as we've seen anything can happen in those 60 minutes; but we have every reason to be optimistic about the 2010 season.

Could it be that Tulane wasn't 100% focused on Army?  I'll take a rap song sung by the starting defense over TU spending extra time planning for Army (as they did last year) any day.

TULANE RAP: A rap made its Superdome debut.

A piece that safety Taylor Echols, running back Albert Williams and Asumnu recorded was played in the Superdome for the first time before kickoff.

Wide receiver Joe Kemp gave it a positive review.

“We do a lot of stuff like that for team bonding,” Kemp said. “We are always trying to come together.”

You can find a thorough recap of the game with Tulane presser quotes here.


Blogpoll Draft for Week 7

Monday, October 11, 2010

Full disclosure this week, because I would hate to be called out for my voting two weeks in a row. I feel I'm pretty close on this one,  but with such a weak Big East the queue is short to join the Top 25.

Stock is up:

Stock is down:

I'm accepting suggestions for any placements below #2.

The Unbalanced Line Ballot - Week 7

Rank          Team            Delta

1     Oregon Ducks     --
2     Ohio St. Buckeyes     Arrow_up 1
3     Nebraska Cornhuskers     Arrow_up 1
4     Oklahoma Sooners     Arrow_up 2
5     Boise St. Broncos     --
6     TCU Horned Frogs     Arrow_up 2
7     LSU Tigers     Arrow_up 9
8     Michigan St. Spartans     Arrow_up 7
9     Auburn Tigers     --
10     Stanford Cardinal     Arrow_up 1
11     South Carolina Gamecocks     Arrow_up 11
12     Utah Utes     Arrow_down -2
13     Alabama Crimson Tide     Arrow_down -11
14     Arkansas Razorbacks     Arrow_down -2
15     Iowa Hawkeyes     Arrow_up 3
16     Arizona Wildcats     Arrow_down -9
17     Florida St. Seminoles     Arrow_up 6
18     Wisconsin Badgers     Arrow_up 2
19     Nevada Wolf Pack     --
20     West Virginia Mountaineers     Arrow_up 4
21     Missouri Tigers     --
22     Air Force Falcons     --
23     Michigan Wolverines     Arrow_down -6
24     Oklahoma St. Cowboys     --
25     Florida Gators     Arrow_down -11

Dropouts: Miami Hurricanes, Kansas St. Wildcats

Road Warriors

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"WHAT A RUSH!" is right.
Army's 274  Rush yards per game and even more stunning 30.6 points per game, are beyond the wildest dreams of anyone who watched the Black knights through 6 games last year.

The Black Knights' rushing attack began Saturday 9th in the NCAA and looks sure to move up with a season high 312 rush yards.

"We are running the ball well and we are being opportunistic," Army coach Rich Ellerson said. "I think that our guys are playing a little bit better in different phases each week. We are doing a great job on the turnover battle. When you do that, you've got a great chance to win. It's hard to overcome something like four to one."

The takeaways are something worth mentioning. They've become something of a trend, and it's not so much how the Black Knights have been forcing turnovers as much as where they have been getting these loose balls. In each game this season Army has forced turnovers and benefited from a short field.
It's not something we can expect every week, and as much as I wanted to add Army's + turnover ratio in the game preview, there is just no way to count on that kind of good fortune. Luck like that is the kind of thing that makes or breaks teams, and Army is either lucky or highly skilled at knocking balls loose or both.

-Eastern Michigan fumbled a 3rd Quarter kickoff on their own 32.
-North Texas gave Army the football in the 2nd Quarter on their own 14
-Hawaii coughed up the ball on their own 27 in the 3rd Quarter.
-Duke started the game with a pick that was run back to the Duke 3 yard lime
-Temple dropped the opening kickoff and subsequently gave up the early lead.

Saturday's Tulane game saw TU cough the ball up at their own 36 leading to Army's 2nd touchdown and on the following kickoff they lost the ball again much to the (hilarious) dismay of the Tulane play by play guys.
Army burns 2+ minutes of clock going nowhere in particular... kicks the field goal to make it 17-7. The following kickoff was also fumbled and recovered by the Black Knights eliciting a noticeable roar from the Army fans in attendance.

You can chalk that kind of stuff up to luck and maybe Army has been due for some good fortune, but when it happens so often and at such fortunate spots on the field and on the game clock... Army has to be doing something right.

I'll hit the local coverage later in the week, but for now- your Army/Tulane story, stats and highlights.


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