Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Rutgers mascot cheers with fans during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse at High Points Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. Rutgers won 23-15. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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Rutgers giving away free season tickets if it rains during spring game

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It is not often college football fans actively root for rain to interfere with their football activities, but Rutgers has hoping to brighten things up in the event of rain for its spring game in April. One young alum season ticket holder will get their 2016 season tickets for free if at least one inch of rain falls from the skies on the date of Rutgers’ spring game.

The official rain accumulation will be tallied at Newark Liberty International Airport. Members of the Young Alumni Season Ticket Holder program must already have purchased or renewed their season tickets before April 1. If the skies pour at least an inch of rain at the airport on the day of the spring game, Young ALumni Season Ticket Holders will receive a rebate for the price of their 2016 season tickets.

So let it rain, Rutgers fans will say.

Rutgers new home for Michigan grad transfer Ross Taylor-Douglas

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  Defensive back Ross Douglas #29 of the Michigan Wolverines runs out with teammates before the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against the Kansas State Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium on December 28, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Wildcats defeated the Wolverines 31-14.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Normally a graduate transfer doesn’t leave with two years of eligibility remaining nor does he end up in the same division of the same conference as his old home. In the case of Ross Taylor-Douglas, he’s doing both.

Taylor-Douglas (pictured, No. 29) revealed earlier this month that he would be transferring from Michigan to continue his collegiate playing career. Over the weekend, it was confirmed that continuation would take place at Big Ten East “rival” Rutgers.

While Chris Ash was at Wisconsin, the new RU head coach recruited Taylor-Douglas. Three years later, the two are finally together.

“I’m happy he is still recruiting me,” Taylor-Douglas told Ryan Dunleavy of Gannett New Jersey, “because I was supposed to visit Wisconsin on multiple occasions and both times I committed to a school before I was supposed to visit. I’m just happy he forgave me for that.”

The defensive back/running back is on track to graduate in a couple of month from UM. Not only will Taylor-Douglas be eligible to play immediately in 2016, he’ll also have another season of eligibility to use in 2017 as well.

A four-star member of he Wolverines 2013 recruiting class, Taylor-Douglas was rated as the No. 22 cornerback in the country; the No. 14 player at any position in the state of Ohio; and the No. 241 player overall according to Rivals.com.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, he appeared in 10 games as a cornerback. After switching to running back prior to the 2015 season, he played in five games. In those games, Taylor-Douglas rushed for 18 yards on 10 carries.

His longest run of the season, nine yards, came in Michigan’s November blowout of, yep, Rutgers.

Now that he’s with the Scarlet Knights, Taylor-Douglas hopes to return to corner. “I’m completely, 100-percent comfortable because of the way Coach Ash plays defense. That’s how I know to play corner and that’s why I chose to come to Rutgers,” the defensive back said.

Chrisitan McCaffrey wins Jet Award as nation’s top return man

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Running back Christian McCaffrey #5 of the Stanford Cardinal stiff arms cornerback Iman Marshall #8 of the USC Trojans on a kick return during the first quarter of the Pac-12 Championship game at Levi's Stadium on December 5, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The awards keep streaming in for Christian McCaffrey.

The Stanford all-around dynamo was announced as the winner of the Jet Award earlier this week? Never heard of the Jet Award? It’s hard to blame you.

The Johnny Rodgers National College Football Return Specialist Award — also known as the Jet Award — was created in 2011 to honor the Nebraska return man by the same name. 

McCaffrey totaled 37 kickoff returns for 1,070 yards and one touchdown — good for a 28.92 average, which ranked eighth nationally. The rising junior also returned 15 punts for 130 yards and a score. Overall, McCaffrey, the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2015, broke Barry Sanders‘ single-season all-purpose yardage record with 3,864 yards.

McCaffrey beat out USC’s Adoree Jackson and Rutgers’s Janorian Grant for the honor. Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett claimed the award in 2014 and Stanford’s Ty Montgomery garnered the honor in 2013. He’ll be honored at a banquet in Omaha this April.

SEC, Ohio State tops on Carolina, Denver Super Bowl rosters

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Former Tennesse quarterback Peyton Manning and current quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is honored alongside his former college coach Phillip Fulmer before the start of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, 2005 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Cam Newton may be hurtling toward history, but the former Auburn quarterback will not be the lone player representing the SEC in next month’s Super Bowl.  In fact, he’s far, far from it.

As you may have heard, Newton’s Carolina Panthers are set to square off with Peyton Manning‘s Denver Broncos in the 50th Super Bowl Feb. 3.  Manning and Newton are two of and FBS-best 30 former SEC players who are on the two teams’ rosters, which includes those on the 53-man, reserved/injured list, practice squad, reserved/suspended by commissioner and reserve/future squad.

The Pac-12 is next with 23, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (17).  The final Power Five conference, the Big 12, has 10, three less than the Mountain West’s 13.  The AAC, with eight, is the only Group of Five league to come close to double digits.  The MAC, meanwhile, is the only conference to be shutout, while all of the other divisions in the NCAA combined for 18 players.

Nearly every SEC team is represented in this year’s big game, the lone exception being Vanderbilt.  Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Arizona and Washington State are missing.  Both the ACC and Big Ten have 11 of their 14 teams in the game, the lone exceptions being Clemson, Louisville and Virginia Tech for the former and Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers for the latter.

One of those B1G schools that’s in, Nebraska, has had at least one player on a Super Bowl roster for 23 straight years, the longest active streak for any FBS program.

Ohio State easily outdistances individual schools with seven, three more than the four each for Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Tennessee.  Alabama, Arizona State, Colorado State, Georgia, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC and Utah.

A total of 20 schools have two players each, including Coastal Carolina, the only non-FBS program in the group.  The other 19 includes Arkansas, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Troy, Tulane, Washington and Wisconsin.

Smart, Richt currently pace all new head coaches in recruit rankings

CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 04:  New University of Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt makes the 'U' sign after he was introduced at a press conference at the school on December 4, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
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In somewhat of an ironic twist, the head coach who was forced to leave Georgia and the coach who replaced him are doing quite well on the recruiting trail at their new programs.  In fact, they’re doing better than any other who found a landing spot in the 2015-16 spinning of the coaching carousel.

As it stands now, Miami’s Mark Richt has the 19th-ranked recruiting class according to Rivals.com, the second-best of any of the  27 head coaches hired in the past three months.  The best?  Georgia, which has the No. 15 class thanks in part to Kirby Smart, Richt’s successor in Athens.

UGA right now, though, and fully understanding that there are nearly two weeks left until National Signing Day, is nine spots behind the No. 6 class Richt signed in 2015.  The U, meanwhile, was ranked 26th for Al Golden‘s last class, a full seven spots behind were Richt stands now.

Not surprisingly, a significant number of programs have seen their recruiting rankings dip from a year ago.  One of the most glaring is that of USC.  Despite offensive coordinator Clay Helton taking over as interim head coach in mid-October and then taking over permanently in late November, USC has just the 23rd-ranked class; last year at this time, the Trojans were well on their way to having Rivals’ No. 1 class under Steve Sarkisian.

Of the 27 head coaches new to their teams, 17 have classes that are ranked lower than their predecessors from a year ago.  The biggest drop belongs to Seth Littrell‘s North Texas (127th currently, 90th in 2015), while that ignominious honor for Power Five programs goes to Dave Odom and Missouri (59th, 27th).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Matt Campbell has taken his new team on one of the biggest rises, lifting Iowa State from No. 69 under the departed Paul Rhoads to No. 52.  Interestingly, Campbell’s successor at Toledo, UT offensive coordinator Jason Candle, has the Rockets at 73rd, 17 spots higher than his predecessor’s 90th-ranked class of a year ago.

Below are the 27 newest head coaches, with where their teams rank now in the recruiting rankings compared to a year ago:

2016 New HC Recruit Rankings