Some of you may remember my scathing assessment of/reaction to Rutgers Football in 2017 after we lost to Eastern Michigan. That post was titled, “This is ridiculous, Rutgers.” For Friday Hate day, I bring to you a sort of spiritual successor to that article. Instead of this being a reaction to a season, however, these are my feelings in anticipation of this upcoming season. Specifically that we are in the 150th Anniversary of Rutgers Football, College Football in general, for those who read my 150 years of Rutgers Football article, and we are SOMEHOW not in a situation to be successful.
Words cannot describe my R A G E that in this 150th year, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the Rutgers Athletics administration given how linear time works, Rutgers Athletics didn’t do everything in their power to position Rutgers Football to be good this year. Instead, here we are at the approach of this major anniversary, coming off of our worst football season since 2002, with S&P+ suggesting a ceiling of 3-9, and Rutgers fans actually nervous over SHOULD be easy wins, UMass and Liberty. I just.... why?
The next major anniversary, the Dodransbicentennial, the 175th Anniversary (for the Latin ignorant), I will legitimately be 50, some Rutgers fans will be dead, and College Football as we know it may not even be around. THIS sesquicentennial may be the last major anniversary Rutgers Football can celebrate, and we are probably going to be awful for it.
Not to mention the awful decisions the Athletic Department has allowed, whether it was on them or not, for what would be done in the 2019 season. The 150th Anniversary is officially on November 6th, which is a Wednesday this year. Do you know where Rutgers is playing on Saturday, November 2nd? Illinois. AWAY. Do you know who/where Rutgers is playing on November 9th? The bye week.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHO LET THIS HAPPEN? THE BALL HAS BEEN SO DROPPED.
That bye week is a perfect time to plan some major celebration for Rutgers Football, which I expect, but an in-stadium celebration with a fair/carnival-esque atmosphere, similar to events Rutgers has done in the past, or whatever Rutgers Athletics has up their sleeves is really meaningless when a legitimate football game could have been played between Rutgers and Princeton or something of the sort. Football non-conference schedules are made years in advance. This is Rutgers’ current non-conference schedule up to 2031. TWENTY THIRTY ONE.
Some people have suggested that the Rutgers and Princeton rugby teams should play to celebrate the Anniversary, but I don’t like that idea. That first game wasn’t rugby. It was the ancestor of modern college football. Having the true descendants of that game, actual College Football teams, is the only way for it to properly be celebrated. “But Rutgers and Princeton are at different levels.” Okay so make it an exhibition game, change the rules, I don’t care (and at this point, do past statistics really suggest the game would be that lopsided?). But instead we get a bye week and an away game? Really?
Again, I just don’t see how we are here. I don’t understand how when Pat Hobbs was hired, he wasn’t told, “Just so you know, the 150th Anniversary of College Football is in a few years. We’d like to be in a position for success.” Then, Pat Hobbs should have been strategic in who he hired as Head Coach after the Kyle Flood fiasco, and as soon as there was wind that Ash wasn’t going to work out (he’s not gonna, but that’s for another article) he should have made a decision to let him go and bring in a coach that could comes as close to guaranteeing rapid success as possible. And this ultimately reflects that Ash was a hella risky hire to begin, and especially so with the 150th on the line, and that risk has, of course, tipped towards exactly what you hope doesn’t happen— bad past seasons, and an upcoming bad pivotal season. This is ridiculous, Rutgers.
God. I love(d) Pat Hobbs okay, but if and when we are bad this year, I don’t know that I could forgive him. This year is soooooo important for College Football and for Rutgers and we’re about to embarrass ourselves in it.
I just... I feel like there was so much time to prepare to NOT do badly and we’re living in this reality where everything to ensure that we wouldn’t be good actually happened.
And it’s not even just Rutgers that seemed to have forgotten or doesn’t care about Rutgers’ role in this anniversary. Tons of external sports media keep neglecting the importance of Rutgers. This website predicts that College Gameday won’t even come to Rutgers for any game this year. And I don’t blame them. We suck, why would you? So again that points to leadership incompetency in how we got here.
Then if you go to www.cfb150.org, there is a single page dedicated to “The First Game” and it’s a nice write up, sure, but the rest of #CFB150 media is very mum in their mention of Rutgers. Even their social media has not explicitly mentioned Rutgers. Retweets don’t count, that’s like, an obligation, not raving support. And I also don’t blame them. Right now are awful and have so many embarrassing moments in recent history. Even ESPN’s big write up and trailer for 150th Anniversary Celebration, a year long celebration leading up to and through the 2019 Football season, is several pages long of other teams’ history and mentions Rutgers twice in its entire article.
“Nov. 6, 1869, that is the day of the first modern game, held between Rutgers and Princeton. Rutgers won 6-4, and Princeton won the rematch a week later 8-0.”
Yeah, thanks, ESPN. The videos are even worse. Rutgers may not be great, but we definitely have several worthy highlights that are not included.
Princeton and Dartmouth are playing Saturday November 9th in Yankee Stadium specifically because of the 150th Anniversary of CFB. You KNOW it’s going to be mentioned that “Princeton Football played in the first Collegiate Football game,” with a shallow mention of Rutgers. Somehow, Princeton, an Ivy League school, got a cool game around the anniversary playing an old-guard type school, but not Rutgers. Rutgers, the school that WON that first game, where the game was actually held, and has “The Birthplace of College Football” plastered in its stadium.
The ball was dropped. And was dropped hard. There is no way any Rutgers fan or anyone can defend or justify that we’re likely going to blow in our 150th Anniversary. None of that, “well, how was Pat Hobbs supposed to know?” “Coaches need time,” “the buyout would have been too expensive,” yadda yadda. This should have been PLANNED for, a decade in advance. At the very least 5 years in advance. That would be 2014. Pat Hobbs was hired on November 29, 2015. So this ultimately points to the University’s upper administration as the ones who truly enabled this incompetency heading into the 150th season. And I HATE them.
So that’s been your edition of Friday self-hate from this Rutgers fan. I hope you guys enjoyed Rutgers week, and if you missed any of our articles, check down below for links!
Whew, that was a lot. Thanks for tuning in, everyone!