Ed. Note: Yes, you’re all brilliant. A 2020 football season will not and probably should not happen. But we are treating today’s—and all subsequent predictions articles—as “If the Season Happens in Full”. We cool? Cool.
Rutgers has close to my ideal non-conference schedule for a Big Ten team who wants to get some P5 competition while still keeping 7 home games: FCS (or low-major) school, G5 or similar-profile school, P5 school on a home-and-home.
In terms of “results in 2020,” though, that’s a pretty brutal kickoff. Syracuse Orange is not loved by most metrics or prediction services, but that’s still an ACC team early on. Temple Owls has picked right back up under Rod Carey, and even though it’s a short jaunt for the Knights, the Linc won’t be a fun stop against a tough AAC team. Hell, even Monmouth went 11-3 and made the second round of the FCS Playoffs.
After closing their eyes and thinking of Britain against Ohio State Buckeyes, the Knights hit a stretch of five winnable games where we can see just how much potential there is for the rebuild: Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, and even rebuilding Nebraska Cornhuskers at home; Purdue Boilermakers and Maryland Terrapins on the road.
No one’s suggesting that a 5-game win streak is happening, but a winning record there is...not the least believable thing ever?
So tell us, writers:
(1) How will the season go for the Scarlet Knights? Are 5 wins out of the question?
(2) Construct your ideal non-conference schedule for your school, following the Rutgers model.
Jesse: I mean… five wins looks sketchy. New coach, system, QB, defense, and well… the last forever of awfulness means that it’ll be tough. I think they get Monmouth.
From there, you really got to squint to get to like, four. Syracuse is maybe a toss-up but that is really a Syracuse game to lose. Temple was a decent team last year. OSU is going to murder them. Illinois is better than them on paper. Purdue is better on paper. Indiana is better on paper. Nebraska is better on paper. Maryland is more talented on paper. Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State are just better.
So uh… Get two upsets maybe? That’s how you get to 4-8. I’m leaning 3-9 with a scare into someone late.
Pkloa: 4 wins would be a success for Rutger. Not saying they couldn’t reach 5, but it’s doubtful to me.
Penn State’s recent OOC schedules have resembled the same model as Rutger. A MAC team, a mid-level P5 team, and a rando. Ideally, a 4 year series with Miami (FL), a two-for-one with a service academy, and a MACrifice is fine with me. Fun fact, 2023 will be the first MACless OOC since 2008.
Zuzu: Looking at that schedule, though brutal, I see 4 wins as entirely possible if Rutgers made the bare minimum of improvements to be honest. 5 with some luck.
I would love it if Rutgers frequently went back to playing Army or Navy. I think Temple and Syracuse are great non-conference games for us, but it’s too bad they’re in a new coach year. And when Rutgers gets good, I really want to see us play USC.
MNW: Maybe it’s the infectious optimism and naivete of Jersey Week, but Ray and Zu almost have me believing in the Knights.
Of course, “believing” here means “4 wins, wow!” So I’ll say 3-9 (2-7 B1G) with Illinois and...maybe Maryland? As the two conference wins.
I’m generally fine with NOT playing an FCS school if Northwestern can help it (plus, I mean, Illinois State), but in the era of NEEDING those 7 home games, things are what they are. If Kent State or Akron doesn’t want to take the million to head to Evanston for a 15% chance at a win, bring in the Redbirds or Indiana State or whomever. After that, an academic-minded G5 (Tulane, Rice, etc.) or a service academy in a two-for-one, followed by a home-and-home with an academic-minded P5 AS LONG AS IT IS NOT DUKE.
Seriously. Jim Phillips. No more fucking Duke on the schedule, please.
WSR: This doesn’t look good. They should beat Monmouth, and they should have a chance against a number of other teams (Syracuse, Temple, Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska, Maryland, Sparty). But it’s probably not a very good chance, since Rutgers isn’t a very good football program. I’d be surprised if they get to 4, and wouldn’t be shocked at 2. Get everyone to 2021 except Robb Smith and see what you can do, Rutgers.
The ideal Minnesota non-conf involves a couple G5 or a 1-AA school from a random place that isn’t the Dakotas, and a middling-to-bad P5 team. Iowa State’s already spoken for, but why not get something going with Vandy or Oregon State or Kansas? Get your tune-ups, get somebody that might send a small contingent to Minneapolis, and get ready for the B1G, which is all that really matters.
Beez: This is a 3-win schedule, max. And I’m guessing it’s closer to 2 than to 4 (meaning they struggle to win to rather than almost win 4). They’re not a good team, they’re in a tough division, and I’m done being “fooled” by the idea of Rutgers doing anything other than winning maybe 1 conference game.
Prove me wrong, Gerg.
My ideal non-con for Wisconsin is pretty dang close to what we’ve got this year. Notre Dame a Lambeau gives a shot against a big name school that may actually help Wisconsin down the road. App State at Wisconsin gives Wisconsin a very, very good shot at a win over a top 30 team (finished top 20 last year) but without that much risk of a loss. Plus my favorite team hosting my second favorite? Yes please.
The only thing I guess I’d like to see in the third game is a lack of injuries before the conference season. So for the third game we’ll say someone like Iowa State or Pitt or one of the bad Pac 12 teams, but played in a foam pit where everyone is wearing bubble wrap.
60 ounces of booze and a stromboli stuffed to the brim with hot cheese and pepperoni might be what I’m having for lunch today, but it’s also a Rutgers institution, particularly at Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick:
Tell us, writers, the following things:
(1) What your order would be at Stuff Yer Face?
(2) What was your drunk food at college?
(3) Design your own fishbowl and/or stromboli. College-themed or not. Load that sucker up.
pkloa: I’d stuff my face with the Original Boli and, if available, a pilsner. I don’t know about those fish bowls, but I have been wanting to make a Georgia On My Mind: Sweet iced tea and vodka on ice, with a few peach slices tossed in.
Jesse: Give me a lasagna boli. That looks delicious. I’ll add the original potatchos. I’m also now dead. As for a drunk food? Village Inn sadly. It’s really bad and I don’t ever want to eat it again.
Uh, as for a stromboli for me? If we’re sticking to their 30 ingredients, gimme sausage, peperoni, mushrooms, onions, peppers, mozzarella, ricotta, and tomato sauce. Simple and delicious.
MNW: It wasn’t a fishbowl, per se, but the Northwestern Marching Band large cocktail of choice was a (“borrowed” from the band offices) Gatorade cooler full of Wildcat Spritzer:
-2 2L of Sprite/7-Up/generic lemon-lime pop
-1 full canister of Grape Kool-Aid mix
-1 handle vodka
-1 handle white rum
-1 bottle Everclear
A little band magic, and—POOF!—you’ll be puking purple for days. So if I could distill that down to fishbowl form (I wanna say...long division?), I would gladly.
At Stuff Yer Face, gimme a Blue Bang for myself and a Man v. Food Boli (the small one, of course—I’m watching my delicate figure).
Oh, and I gained about 50 pounds thanks to Sarpino’s. Nothing like a late-night Sarp call.
Zuzu: My boli of choice at Stuff’s is the Chipotle Pork Boli (no cheese). If I had to design my own I’d do marinara sauce, pepperoni, roasted garlic, ham, spicy peppers, and spinach. I’m a very boring alcohol consumer just mask vodka with anything sweet and I will drink it. I’m partial to cranberry juice and OJ.
Beez: I’m going off the topic on this one just so I can point out that the online menu for Stuff Yer Face is the horniest shit I’ve ever seen. Look at the pictures of the owners, then the pictures of the people they chose for their website, and tell me those two dudes are sitting in a back room someday pouring over 100s of college coed submissions to decide which get a spot on their website.
Food looks good though. I don’t really know anything about stromboli but I’ll eat whatever. College drunk food was pizza: Ian’s, Toppers, Gumbys, sometimes even Papa Johns. Is there really another option?!?
WSR: Man, I’d destroy most of those strombolis. I think I’d want to start with Steak Boli. That just sounds great today, and I’d try to wash it down with a Blue Flamingo. My go-to drunk food was whatever my driver was willing to go get. I’ve never been a picky eater, and it was always exacerbated when drinking.
And as for designing something myself: No. Just load it up with cheese and meat and let’s go from there. Gimme what you like so I can try new things.
Let us know in the comments: What’s your college drunk food go-to? How well do you think Rutgers could do in 2020?
Special thanks to ZuzuRU and Coray Seifert for leading the way with our B1G 2020 coverage—we’re trying something new [/deep breath] In These Uncertain Times, and we’re incredibly grateful to them for taking the reins on our flagship series.
What’s Rutgers’ conference record in 2020?
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4-5 or better, and I’ll tell you in what year I graduated from Rutgers in the comments
How does Rutgers finish overall?
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Talk to your kids about bowl-eligible Rutgers