In an early, early (and very early) preseason ranking of all the college football programs in the country, ESPN has ranked Rutgers in the top 25, (no. 25 actually) and more importantly, the top team in the Big East.
Last year's disappointing 1-5 start is obviously not ringing in any one's minds because of the way Rutgers finished the season...with 7 straight wins, including a bowl game. I don't think we're better than West Virginia consistently just yet, but it's nice to see Rutgers getting some love. Last year, even though we lost to Pitt and WV, we were achingly close to turning the horrible start to the season around by beating them. The games were hard-fought and at that moment, I knew Rutgers would be able to compete with them on the same level in the future. In fact, last year, Scouts.com had our incoming class of 2009 ranked as high as #17, so things are looking up. Unfortunately, the incoming class is ranked #30 now, since a bunch of punks decided not to come to Rutgers. Anyway, I'm sure these rankings will change over the next 6 months, and Rutgers will undoubtedly be in and out of the top 25.
However, at the end of the day, I'm excited for 2009 and I think most of the Rutgers community can feel that change is in the air. With all the drama last year regarding the AD's firing, the stadium money, the horrible 1-5 start, and the 'under the table' payments to Schiano, we are ready to move on. And nothing helps cure some drama better than winning some games.