Ask the Experts: Part II

With two weeks before the beginning of Rutgers training camp, is here to answer your burning questions. In the second part of a busy question and answer series, we look at a questions about the attitude of the team, the new Big East and how the administration is viewed.

Q. How is Rutgers and Tim Pernetti viewed (in your opinion) by the Big East leadership? Is Tim in the "inner circle"? Or is he viewed like the employee who already gave two weeks notice?

A. He is viewed as one of the athletic directors with fresh ideas and with energy. He was instrumental in getting Boise State on board and also developing the new Big East footprint. He comes with a different way of thinking because he doesn't have the same type of administrative background as so many other athletic directors.

Q. In comparison to your days covering UCLA how do you feel Rutgers matches up as far as players, coaching, and facilities? Additionally, how would you compare conferences team for team... top to bottom?

A. This is a complex question but I will give it a shot. From an athletic standpoint, Rutgers is similar. UCLA has some very good athletes, but I don't think they have enough players who love football and are mentally tough. Rutgers has that.

From a coaching standpoint, I think the fact UCLA is on its third coach since 2003, and having fired three coaches in less than a decade points to the fact UCLA wasn't well coached. It also hurts that UCLA, at least when I covered them, was not competitive given the cost of living in Los Angeles (the campus borders Bel-Air) and the rest of the Pac-10.

UCLA's facilities are mediocre, at best. Neither of their two practice fields are 100 yards long, the coaches offices are not in the same building as the locker rooms or meeting rooms, the weight room is too small and the Rose Bowl is 30 miles (sometimes two hours) from campus.

As for conference, the Pac-10 was markedly better overall because the caliber of athlete in the league is outstanding, thanks largely to the Southern California recruiting base.

Q.Brian, in the past, you have been crazy accurate in predicting how the season would go, based on what you saw during camp. Granted we still have all of summer to go, but based on what you folks (Brian and Sam) have seen, and just general attitude of the team .... what is your prediction for the season?

A. Geez, I hate to do this before training camp because I have not seen the quarterbacks, the offensive line, the defensive ends, the linebacker depth or the secondary enough. I have a thought on what they should be, but I would really like to see training camp. But if you want a prediction now, I will give one that will make people jump off Landing Lane Bridge. Right now I am thinking 8-4.

Q.Do you guys think that the NBE will be a viable conference for RU assuming new REAL leadership is selected? Do you think we are better off here or the ACC?

A.I actually think it came be because Boise State can be really good, Houston is recruiting well and UCF has tons of potential. I think UCF has markedly more potential than USF because UCF has a great campus and is a better academic school.

The key, though, is the schools all have to buy in and be dedicated to making it work, and right now that is not the case. Many of the schools would jump to another conference in a heartbeat.

Q. Do you think the appeal of new matchups will help the NBE? Do you think Boise will struggle with the East Coast early games? How will the NBE be marketable for the TV deal does being in essentially every time zone and being able to spread games throughout the day help?

A. The matchups will only be appealing if the teams are good. If Temple is 0-7 and UCF is 1-6, that is not appealing. Put 7-0 Temple against 7-0 UCF and put it on Thursday night and there will be a lot of viewership.

The marketability of the league is tricky. It is in some huge markets with New York, Philadelphia, Orlando, Tampa, Houston and San Diego, but do the people in those cities care? People still care when Miami or Michigan or Penn State or USC go 5-7, but the people in the NBE cities won't care about their teams as much.

And considering Boise State will only be traveling East once or twice a year to play a game, and there is no guarantee that game will be early, it has no impact.

Q.Is R.J. Dill definitely, positively, without a doubt going to be a starter?

A. No. He didn't win the job hands down in the spring and I think it will be a battle for him to be the starter. I think he will emerge the starter, but I will not be surprised if he is not the starter.

And for everyone saying ‘How can that be? He was a three-year starter at Maryland," my response is simple …he was a three-year starter at a bad program. Just because you start doesn't mean you're good. It only means you are the best option.

Q.I am concerned about Greens rehab??????? How are the players doing that were hurt in the past season and spring???? How healthy is R team???

A. I am not concerned with Green. He should be fine. For the most part, the players coming back from injuries are doing fine. There is concern from an injury standpoint with one player, but I am not at liberty to discuss it at this moment. Give it a week and everyone will know about it. (And that better stay here!) many 4 and 5 star players do we end up with? Note: I think it's fair to include players who are already committed in your count, if you think they'll end up being ranked 4 or 5 when all is said and done.

A. I have no idea. I don't enjoy hypothetical questions because all they do is make is seem like you know something that is impossible to know. If you want an answer, I will say one.

Q.Do you sense any difference in the "attitude" of the team Schiano vs Flood??

I don't sense a chance in attitude, but I do sense a change in comfort of the players. They are more free to let their personalities come out, and be more free with their thoughts. I think that was evident in the spring with all the interviews we posted.

If Rutgers wins, everyone will say it is because Schiano had them too tight. If they lose, everyone will say they were too loose. To me, it is up to the kids to perform regardless of what the coach is like.

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