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Rutgers Football is Really, Really, Really Bad!

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Rutgers Football is Really, Really, Really Bad!

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For most Long Islanders, college football is purely a TV event. Most elite college football programs play in strange and faraway places like Tuscaloosa, Columbus, or South Bend. To see a game live, one needs to either fly or pack up the car for a long road trip. Unless, of course, you dare to drive around 60 miles to Piscataway, New Jersey to cheer on the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University. Unfortunately, Rutgers may very likely be the worst team in college football.

Although it is nearby, most New Yorkers know very little about Rutgers University. First, it is “the” State University of New Jersey, with more than 60,000 students. In addition, it is very, very old. It was established in 1776, making it the eighth oldest college in the United States. Perhaps most surprisingly, Rutgers is known as the “Birthplace of College Football,” having played the first ever intercollegiate football game on November 6, 1869, when it beat Princeton 6-4. It has been pretty much downhill ever since.

Rutgers joined the Big 10 in 2014 after the Big East (football) Conference folded. Its first season in one of the “Power 5” conferences had some high moments, including a regular season win against University of Michigan and a victory against University of North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl. The following 3 years were dismal, with only 10 total wins, 4 Big Ten conference wins, and 0 Bowl appearance. There was very little optimism at the beginning of 2018 season, but few would have predicted how bad it could really get.

The first indication of Rutgers’ poor outlook came in week 2 of the college football season when they lost 52-3 to Ohio State. Some may argue that Ohio State is a top 5 team in the country and the game was played in Columbus, Ohio. However, the Buckeyes were playing without their head coach, with Urban Meyer serving a three-game suspension for mishandling a domestic violence allegation against one of his assistant coaches. In addition, Ohio State played their back-ups for the entire second half and still outscored Rutgers 17-3. If the Buckeyes actually tried, they could have won the game 70-0. Bottom line: Rutgers Football is bad.

In week 3, Rutgers traveled to Lawrence, Kansas to battle the Jayhawks. KU is a perennial basketball power, but football is not their thing. Kansas is generally considered to be one of the worst Power 5 teams in the country and the worst team in the Big 12, having finished in last place in their conference the previous 3 seasons. In fact, even Rutgers beat Kansas in 2015. The Scarlet Knights were hoping to lick their wounds from their Ohio State pummeling by taking on some farm boys in the middle of the country. Unfortunately, KU completely embarrassed Rutgers, winning 55-14. One may argue that Rutgers was hurt by 6 turnovers. Others may point out that one of the two Rutgers touchdowns resulted from a blocked field goal. Bottom line: Rutgers Football is really bad.

Last Saturday, Scarlet Knights were back home trying to redeem themselves against SUNY Buffalo. The Buffalo Bulls are not a Power 5 team, being a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) along with teams like Akron, Ball State, and Miami; that’s Miami University of Ohio and not the University of Miami of Florida. It should have been an easy W, but Rutgers got crushed 42-13, and they had no excuses; the game was played in New Jersey, and Buffalo actually had more turnovers, with two versus none for Rutgers. Bottom line: Rutgers football is really, really bad.

There is a little-known fact about the Buffalo defeat that makes it even more pathetic. As a Big 10 member, Rutgers must play 9 conference games each year, with the remaining 3 games scheduled against non-conference teams chosen by the school. In a desperate attempt to pad their win totals, schools often schedule weak non-conference teams at home. To entice a team to get on a plane to get their teeth knocked in, a Power 5 conference team often pays cash to a lesser conference team. As unethical as it may sound, the money earned by these smaller schools for taking a beating is needed to fund their football program. Buffalo is one of these smaller programs, and Rutgers paid them $900,000 to come to Piscataway. Rutgers actually paid another team to beat them up and embarrass them in front of their friends and family. Bottom line: Rutgers Football is really, really, really bad.

 

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Rutgers Football is Really, Really, Really Bad!