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Trade You My Rutgers

A Lunchroom Approach to Conference Improvement

At this point we can all agree that adding Rutgers to the conference was a mistake on par with invading Finland in winter. This week’s drubbing by the likes of Kansas—a team coming off a 46-game road losing streak just this year—has to be enough to convince even the most strident defenders of some consultant’s plan to capture the NYC television market. As it turns out, the chance to watch New Jersey’s safety school take it in the shorts week in and week out via a pay-per-beating channel on a recalcitrant cable provider wasn’t exactly the marketing coup of the century.

How do we solve this? Lawyers? A brick through the window? (It’s urban New Jersey, so someone beat us to it). Perhaps a boycott organized by your grammatically-challenged aunt on Facebook? A strongly-worded letter? No, we’re going to do it the old fashioned way. Schoolhouse rules—the same way you handled your mom’s vain attempt to make you eat fruit and carrots in your lunch. We’re going to trade them away.

In the vein, I’ve asked my fellow writers to dust off their cafeteria skills and get swapping...

Trade you my Rutgers for your...

GF3: Army (2-1 | Indep.) Army uses the fullback so much they have a dedicated fullbacks coach. They occasionally punt from the opponent’s 45. They’re in a de facto recruiting desert. Their kicker sucks. The line isn’t that good. They end the season with a protected rivalry game against their accursed enemies (fuck Navy) and the academics* are excellent. Oh, and they play for a trophy every year. Very B1G West.

*Does not apply to non-AAU Nebraska

thumpasaurus: Cornell (0-1 | Ivy League) on the following grounds:

  1. Like a true Big Ten school, Cornell is in somewhat of a forgotten part of the country
  2. Cornell would be the first team in the conference to officially be nicknamed the Big Red
  3. An enrollment of over 23,000 gives it the large student/alumni base a Big Ten school should have
  4. A second private school in the Big Ten would instantly create an extremely smug rivalry with Northwestern. The two have never played
  5. We in the Big Ten love us some engineering. puts Cornell’s in a tie with Purdue for the 9th-best in the country, which would be behind only Illinois and Michigan in the conference. Eight of the top 25 are Big Ten schools
  6. Cornell is a wrestling powerhouse. If that ain’t B1G, you don’t know the meaning of the word.
  7. Cornell first played intramural football in 1869, which means we can still claim a share of the 1869 national championship
  8. The Big Red have a big-time D1 hockey team!
  9. Cornell’s basketball team has already performed service in the name of the game of basketball by bouncing Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin team from the tournament
  10. Cornell has that very most important of qualities for a Big Ten school: a storied past in which they were a national powerhouse a hundred years ago. Just like Nebraska, Cornell claims FIVE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, and is the alma mater of one Pop Warner.
  11. In 1874, the university president and founder, Andrew Dickson White, disallowed a team of Cornell students from traveling to Cleveland, Ohio to play a Michigan team. White said, “I refuse to let 40 of our boys travel 400 miles merely to agitate a bag of wind.” Take that, Jim Harbaugh!

As we’re so often told, Rutgers spurned the Ivy League. Now’s a chance to correct that mistake while the Big Ten corrects its mistake. Everybody wins!

MNWildcat: (Omaha! Omaha!) Trade you my Maryland for your Syracuse. Syracuse’s addition keeps the Big Ten contiguous and true to its Rust Belt image. The Syracuse-Rutgers rivalry game at the end of the season would do away with the weird four-way tango MSU, PSU, Rutgers, and Maryland have, and could even be played at various stadia around New York City. The Orange bring a strong basketball tradition and a journalism school that will surely rankle Northwestern sports media alumni.

Syracuse brings the domed charm of AAQ-era Minnesota, complete with a quarterback who runs around and does things and a defense that is occasionally optional (no word on if Babers wants the OSU job). Our Orange brethren bring the funny accents and huge snowfalls, the athletics program with less* baggage then Maryland, and none of the icky history of slavery -- hell, the city itself was openly abolitionist in the 1850s. Much more B1G, if you ask me. (edited)

Cornell a great call, though — BRT would go from Zero B1G ten years ago to 100% B1G today

87townie: West Virginia (2-0 | Big XII) The mountaineers have a midwestern feel. The fans are country. Hawkeyes on my Belly guy would fit in at any WVU tailgate. Even better, West Virginia football goes through long droughts of mediocrity, with occasional “this is the year!” moments. That’s always great for pointing and jeering, which mid-westerners love.

James Snyder: University of Miami (2-1 | ACC) Surprisingly good academics and half the B1G fanbase ends up in southern Florida to die.

Andrew Kosciuszko: UCLA . Let’s face it, exposure drives the bus for realignment, and this trade flips the PAC-12’s spare LA program for an entry into the El Dorado that is the NYC College Sports Fan Market, so it makes sense for them as well. The programs have underachieved in perhaps comparable proportion to their respective fan bases’ expectations. UCLA has great academics and stellar non-revenue sports programs. If the conference has enjoyed its access to the plunder of New Jersey recruits, imagine what access to the trove of Southern California would mean. Plus, having UCLA on the schedule means everyone in the conference gets to play in the Rose Bowl periodically instead of just fantasizing about it - and with how bad they are now, some of your teams might actually win there for a change!

BigRedTwice: Hostess cupcake (Undefeated | Your Grocer’s Bread Aisle). They are delicious and bad for you, whereas Rutgers is only bad for you. True, the Hostess cupcake doesn’t bring much in the way of NYC televisions or athletic prowess, but neither does Rutgers. And finally, you can have like a billion Hostess cupcakes for the price of one lousy Rutgers. Cupcake >>>>> Rutgers

Candystripes: Vanderbilt (2-1 | SEC). If you’re looking for an outmatched football team paired with an underachieving basketball team, who really wants to emphasize how great their academics is while trying really hard to downplay just how much of a shitshow their compliance and athletic department is in general, boy have I just described both of these schools! Also, Vanderbilt is closer to the footprint, so there.