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OTE Staff Predictions: Rutgers // B1G 2019, Rutgers Potluck #4

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The OTE staff predicts Rutgers’ 2019 record, and asks what the hell disco fries are.

Illinois v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

We’ve nearly reached the end of Rutgers Week 2019, and we regret to inform you...

Anyways, thanks for checking out Rutgers Week and enjoying B1G 2019 with us. If you’re new, check out both what our previews are all about and—especially if you’re new to OTE!—what you should expect tomorrow, on Hate Friday.

With all that in mind, we bring you Day 4 of our Rutgers Scarlet Knights potluck series. We’ve asked how to fix the Rutgers football program and previewed both the offense and defense, and now it’s time to put it all together.

We’re inverting the order of our potluck questions today, to build suspense thoroughly, enrage you about New Jersey culinary “traditions,” and give you a lot of ammunition with which to hit the comments.

Question 1: Food-like substance?

I hate that I’m learning so much about New Jersey this week. I really do.

Case in point: Did you know that New Jersey has taken something NO ONE was asking them to improve—poutine—and make their own shittier version of it?

Meet disco fries!

They’re not, as I thought, a hallucinogenic strain of potato, but rather just a terrible Jersey diner food, replacing cheese curds with mozzarella and heavenly real gravy placed by...chicken gravy, apparently? Don’t even ask me what that white shit is on there. I’m nauseous.

Food portion: Make your own team-themed poutine! Is it as easy as just slapping some foie gras on expensive potatoes and making a Northwestern joke? NO! Give us a regionally- or team-specific poutine that I would want to eat.

Jesse: For Nebraska, it’s gotta be fried corn and potato fritters, topped with cheddar cheese curds, and covered in beef gravy and a side of Dorothy Lynch.

LPW: I’ll have my butler hire out Grant Achatz of Alinea (the best restaurant in Chicago) fame to make the Northwestern poutine. He’s a chef of the molecular gastronomy persuasion. Reservations are like $600 per person. Just look at the food he makes! At Alinea he made an edible Helium Green Apple Balloon. No, I’m not joking.

Ok, how would Achatz make poutine? Let’s start with some artisanally cut potatoes, probably a little bit of Caviar, mixed in with some fresh greens from an urban farm, and topped off with a Malört-infused gravy, and make sure the dish is artisanally plated as part of your 20 course meal of small bites over what is probably five or six hours.

[ed. note: When I said “is it easy as just...making a Northwestern joke?” I didn’t think a Northwestern fan would be the issue here.]

BRT: Fries covered with seasoned beef, cabbage, and onions, and drenched in ranch. I don’t know if it would taste good or not, but it absolutely is peak Nebraska.

Townie: Ugh. French fries covered in tomato sauce, cheez whiz, ketchup, salad, and a fried egg for the yinzers. I think I just threw up in my mouth…

MNW: I would like to do two, the first partially in homage to the Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Cookoff (won this year by Betty McCollum’s Hotdish A-Hmong Friends, which yes, I am absolutely making for dinner next week):

  • South Canadian Poutine: Substitute tater tots for fries. Cheese curds sourced from Redhead Creamery outside Sauk Centre. For the gravy, we’re making more of a sauce--cream of mushroom soup, ground beef, and a veggie of your choosing (I’d go green beans). Smother that on top, and voila! It’s interesting, I suppose.
  • Chicago’s Big Ten Poutine: Get a personal-sized pizza pan. Fill it with hand-cut fries and some mozzarella cheese balls. Cover it in a little pizza sauce and a meat of your choosing, then bake at 350 for 25 minutes. You’re welcome.

Zuzu: Having just spent a week in Canada, and being exposed to real poutine for the first time, I don’t see how poutine, made of cheese CURDS (vomit) is any better than mozzarella. But I wouldn’t know, I don’t eat cheese and French fries are only a vessel by which I consume ketchup. I suppose a more Jersey version of Disco fries than what is already a thing, may be to add marinara instead of gravy? But I don’t get why people like soggy fries…

Beez: Does it get more Wisconsin-specific than french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds?!? I guess you could say other regions might, I dunno, include something green or crunchy on there, like a green onion, but Wisconsin def isn’t bothering with that “it’s not meat or cheese or fried” shit.

Poll

Whose poutine is best?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Jesse’s Nebraska-Frittered-Away-Another-Lead Poutine
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    LPW’s I Don’t Understand Rules $600 Poutine
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    BRT’s Runza Poutine
    (3 votes)
  • 6%
    Townie’s Pat’s King of Steaks Poutine
    (6 votes)
  • 13%
    MNW’s South Canadian Poutine
    (13 votes)
  • 18%
    MNW’s Chicago’s Big Ten Poutine
    (18 votes)
  • 19%
    Beezer’s uninspired poutine
    (19 votes)
  • 28%
    Like Zuzu, I am too good for poutine
    (28 votes)
97 votes total Vote Now

Question 2: Football-Like Substance?

Anywho, speaking of things that have a football-like substance but look like diarrhea [ed. note: Sorry, Zu, but I made it three days with no real Rutgers digs, and I’m proud of me for that! Not sorry, Ray], here’s the 2019 Rutgers football schedule:

Now, it’s May 9. Obviously we’re not holding you hard and fast to the predictions you’re giving us today—there’s too much time for another fullback to transfer out of Rutgers or more P5 castoffs to transfer in to Piscataway. But that’s not stopping us, damnit!

So...how does Rutgers fare in 2019?

Candystripes: Well, there’s definitely a path to 5 wins on this schedule, maybe 6 if Maryland isn’t as good as I think they are. There’s also a particularly real shot of going 2-10.

The defining part of Rutgers’ season is the stretch from October 5th to November 2nd. You give me any record in that zone between 5-0 and 0-5 and I’d believe it. (Though seriously, if you manage to go 0-5, there’s a giant yikes in red and what appears to be navy in there.)

Jesse: I swear if you do not destroy Liberty mid-season, Rutgers, we might actually start talking about relegation.

For real, though, Rutgers looks to be favorite in 2 games this year, with tossups in games against Illinois and maybe Indiana and Maryland due to both being wildcards in every game. Best case scenario? Five wins and something to build on. Worst case scenario? 1-11 and absolute pandemonium because Liberty won. I’m going in the middle and going with 3-9, wins against Liberty, UMass, and Illinois.

LPW: I agree with Jesse. Wins against Umass, Liberty and Illinois.

WSR: 2-10. Prove me wrong, Rutgers. And not by losing to UMass or those fucking things from Liberty either.

BRT: If Rutgers loses to Liberty, we’re burning the stadium down. No one will judge us. I say they’re 3-9—defeat UMass, Liberty, and either Illinois or BC.

Townie: Downside is a winless season of dejection. I really don’t see a single locked up win here. Liberty would be my obvious pick, but they have a new coach. And let’s face it, while morally bankrupt, Hugh Freeze can coach circles around Chris Ash.

UMass is another question mark...but also with a great coach. Chris Bell has an impressive coaching resume. But his tenure as an OC at Maryland and Florida State weren’t great. The thing is, his UMass team is good enough to give Rutgers fits. I just don’t see this as a gimme for the Scarlet Knights.

Illinois is the one team on here with a rutgers-esque level of ineptitude. This meeting could be the one win for either program in 2019…

Upside here is three wins against those three teams. The rest of the schedule is just too much for this rutger team.

MNW: 3-9 (1-8) seems about right, with a win coming over Indiana, Maryland, or Illinois. That’s reasonable, isn’t it?

If I were to go for bonus points/calling my shot, Rutgers fires Chris Ash after a 27-point loss to Minnesota on October 19. While I want TE coach and All-Time Jersey Name Team nominee Nunzio Campanile (in another life, he was blaxploitation film actor DIPLOMATIC BELL) to take the helm, it’s more likely someone like OC John McNulty takes the helm, leading the two-game dead-cat bounce over Liberty and Illinois, then putting the scare in McNulty’s alma mater Penn State in the season finale.

McNulty gets the job in the off-season, and we learn nothing.

Zuzu: See my Monday S&P+ analysis. As it stands I think Rutgers SHOULD beat UMass and Liberty. After that… well…. Hey guys we least we’re fun, right?

Beez: 4-8 feels right. If you just pick off the lowest hanging fruit (UMass, Illinois, Indiana, Liberty), take one of those away but substitute some bonkers win (lol Minnesota) and that where Rutgers will land. Also if you lose to Liberty, don’t bother coming back here.

Thumpasaurus: Lol, either everyone’s going to contradict themselves next week or everyone has Illinois going 2-10 this year. It’s really hard to say, other than that it won’t be enough to save Chris Ash’s job.

Ray: You ready for it? You ready? SIX AND SIX BABY! The defense takes a step forward, ‘teams wins a few games, and the offense progresses enough to not lose games.

Big wins vs UMass, Liberty, close wins vs. Boston College and Illinois, a heartbreaking loss in OT against Maryland, a thrilling, ridiculous, burn-down-the-internet come from behind 52-51 win against Indiana, and closing the season out with a 50 yard field goal as time expires to beat the team from Pennsylvania in a stately 13-10 old school Big Ten grinder. We’re the darlings of the bowl season and Chris Ash starts the knights marching towards big things!

...or everyone gets canned after getting blown out by Liberty. Either way, it’s going to be an exciting season!

Poll

How does Rutgers finish overall in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    0-12
    (12 votes)
  • 7%
    1-11
    (21 votes)
  • 26%
    2-10
    (72 votes)
  • 34%
    3-9
    (93 votes)
  • 12%
    4-8
    (35 votes)
  • 5%
    5-7
    (16 votes)
  • 7%
    6-6 or better
    (21 votes)
270 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How does Rutgers finish in the Big Ten?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    0-9
    (56 votes)
  • 50%
    1-8
    (122 votes)
  • 17%
    2-7
    (42 votes)
  • 3%
    3-6
    (9 votes)
  • 4%
    4-5 or better
    (11 votes)
240 votes total Vote Now

That should be more than enough to tide you over until Zuzu stops by this afternoon to treat you to how Rutgers is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first college football game! Vote in the polls, give us your own poutine recipe in the comments, and feel free to check out our other Rutgers Week coverage!

Check out our Rutgers Week articles!

Monday: Cocktail Party Preview | Fixing Rutgers Athletics | You don’t want Rutgers...
Tuesday: Coaches/Coordinators | Offense Preview | QB/TE transfer
Wednesday: On the Banks interview | Defense Preview
Thursday: Rutgers Memes | Record Predictions | Rutgers at 150
Friday: Hate Piece(s) | Anniversaries