Rutgers will open up the 2017 season at home against defending Pac-12 champion Washington on Friday, September 8, and the Scarlet Knights are declaring war on the Huskies. In a somewhat awkward promotion for the season opener, Rutgers is advertising the game as the “War Before the Shore,” thus encouraging fans to come out to the game before enjoying their Labor Day weekend down at the Jersey shores in the final weekend of the summer.
The first 5,000 fans attending the game will be handed a rally towel complete with the “War Before the Shore” logo designed for the game. In addition, students attending the game will walk away with a tank top that reads “Rutgers The State Football Team of New Jersey.” Students will also receive a pair of sunglasses to go with their new tank top, if they are among the first 2,000 fans to walk through the gates of the student section. The student section will also feature a temporary jacuzzi.
But if that’s not enough to entice fans to come out and enjoy a football game, Rutgers will fill the areas outside the stadium with volleyball courts, food trucks, carnival rides and boardwalk games to keep a shore feeling going.
Washington defeated Rutgers 48-13 in the 2016 season opener. The Huskies went on to win the Pac-12 and play in the College Football Playoff. Rutgers struggled through a 2-10 season in the first season with Chris Ash as head coach. Rutgers lost home games to No. 4 Michigan 78-0 and No. 9 Penn State 39-0 last season. If this season plays out on a similar note, Rutgers may want to add some more hot tubs.
When last we left Bovada.lv‘s odds for the 2017 national champion, 2016 runners-up Alabama sat atop the initial wagering odds. On the cusp of a new season? Same old, same old. Pretty much.
Along with its updated Heisman Trophy odds, Bovada also revealed its updated odds to win the next edition of the College Football Playoff championship, with the Crimson Tide sitting as a comfortable favorite at 12/5. In January, those odds were a little longer at 4/1.
The next two teams, USC and Ohio State, saw their odds shorten as well, with the former going from 9/1 to 6/1 and the latter from 15/2 to 13/2. Florida State and Michigan, at 7/1 and 9/1, respectively, seven months ago, have lengthened a bit to 15/2 for the Seminoles and 16/1 for the Wolverines.
Prior to Bob Stoops’ retirement, Oklahoma had been at 9/1; after his abrupt departure, those odds have tumbled to 16/1.
Below are the complete set of updated 2017 national championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Former Rutgers linebacker Lester “LJ” Liston, Jr., has been charged with murder in what police say resembles a revenge killing.
As reported by MLive, the Genesee County (Mich.) Prosecutor’s Office has charged Liston, 22, with first-degree murder, felony firearm, possession with intent to distribute cocaine of less than 50 grams and careless discharge of a firearm.
Police charged Liston after discovering Larry James Dunn, 47, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in the hours just before midnight on July 30. A 30-year-old woman was also reportedly injured in the shooting.
Liston (above, holding the flag) was arraigned on Friday and is currently being held without bail. His first hearing is scheduled for Aug. 17.
A native of Grand Blanc, Mich., Liston spent his first year out of high school at Hargrave Military Academy before signing with Rutgers in 2013. He appeared in 22 games with one start at middle linebacker in 2013-14 before he was dismissed from the team in 2015. Liston concluded his college career at Division II Northern Michigan.
Big Ten teams are bringing in truckloads of new television revenue nowadays but that hasn’t stopped many of the schools from signing ever more lucrative apparel deals to stuff the coffers even more.
The latest move on that front appears to be at Nebraska, which the Lincoln Journal Star reports is set to approve an 11-year extension on the Cornhuskers’ deal with adidas worth a whopping $129 million. The new contract is already in front of the school’s Board of Regents and is expected to get the thumbs up at their next meeting on August 11.
Nebraska has had an extremely long and productive relationship with the apparel company dating all the way back to the glory days of Big Red in 1995. The new contract will apparently start this season (retroactive to this past July) and see the school triple the amount of money they receive from adidas to the tune of $64 million in cold hard cash and a similar amount of apparel and equipment over the life of the deal through 2028.
The news of the Cornhuskers’ extension is part of a run of new deals by adidas’ college athletics division in recent months, which also included a new contract with fellow Big Ten school Rutgers. Nebraska’s figure of $129 million over 11 years is not quite industry-leading in the wake of Under Armor’s $280 million deal with UCLA, but it does keep the school in the same relative ballpark as conference powers Michigan ($174 million over 15 years) and Ohio State (15 years, $252 million).
Look good, feel good, play good.
The oft-used slogan for many football players is something Rutgers hopes carries over to their program in 2017 as the school and apparel partner adidas unveiled the Scarlet Knight’s newest alternate uniforms on Thursday.
The new look for the team comes as part of a new six-year deal Rutgers signed with adidas this offseason that saw them switch over from Nike after several years. All-black alternate uniforms are nothing new for the Scarlet Knights but the latest version comes as part of a new ‘Stadium Lights’ series and will be worn when Rutgers takes on Maryland on Nov. 4th in a rare regular season Big Ten game at Yankee Stadium.
In addition to all the technical wizardry that comes with hot-off-the-press uniforms nowadays, the school had the following to say about the new threads:
“Centered around an all-black theme, the Rutgers moniker is emblazoned upon the chest of the jersey in silver to represent polished armor and to serve as code of arms and focal point for the symbolic design. Next, the scarlet numbers are embossed with a subtle chainmail graphic to replicate the look of a knight’s suit of armor. Additional detailing includes an outline of the state of New Jersey that has been stitched on the back above the name plate to display state pride. To complete the look, a matte black helmet features a silver Scarlet Knight graphic on the sides with the Rutgers wordmark highlighted in scarlet on the back of the helmet.”
The football team may not quite be ready for primetime given the rebuilding job coach Chris Ash must still do with the program on the field but for one game this season at least the Scarlet Knights will be able to lay claim to a victory when it comes to being fashion forward.