This article has been written on Sports Illustrated, all over Twitter, and even exited the lips of Tony Kornheiser during an episode of Pardon The Interruption. It’s been whispered in college football forums and comment sections, and said aloud at your local watering hole. I’d even put a substantial amount of money on the gamble that Jim Delaney has said it recently, either to himself or to some frustrated Alumnus/Booster from an original Big Ten school. What is “this article”?
Rutgers Football does not belong in the B1G.
I’ll take that article one step further. Rutgers Football doesn’t belong in the FBS. If they left the B1G, there isn’t some magical substantial improvement if Rutgers moved to the AAC, or the ACC. They’d be the same middling team, only with less revenue coming in and less Midwestern bad takes.
This isn’t a panic post. Rutgers is 3-3, and has a higher than 50% chance of playing in a Beef O’Bradys/Culvers Butterburger/Booger Mcfarland bowl this postseason. Coming from the Chris Ash 70-point defeat era, lowering it to 40-50 point defeats is a real feather in the cap.
I have two main points to address here, on why Rutgers Football should move down to FCS:
1. Football is an outlier when looking at Rutgers sports this year.
I know no one in their right mind looks at the Olympic sports of the State University of New Jersey, but it’s a real bastion of success right now.
- Field Hockey, #5 in the country
- Women’s Soccer, #8 in the country
- Men’s Soccer, #22 in the country (as of last week, now unranked)
- Men’s and Women’s Basketball coming off NCAA trips last year
Is there a timeline where anyone who has watched a Rutgers football game that reasonably believes they will merit a top 25 ranking any time soon? Fans of Ohio State, and both Michigans have seen this team play... the best player (by a good margin) is the Punter. Hell, I’m in a gambling mood - if Rutgers football can beat Michigan, Ohio State, or Penn State in the next four years, I’ll eat a dress shirt and post the video to this site. Buttons, collar stays, and all.
The above is a somewhat weak argument - that other sports are doing well while football continues to struggle - but! Football drives the boat at major universities. These student athletes are continuing to excel to elite national recognition while the football team struggles with Post Routes. The real dagger in the heart is that NCAA scholarship disparity. For all the hard work to be #8 in the country, those Women’s Soccer players are still sharing partial scholarships while a good chunk of the (fully funded) secondary is paintballing Rutgers buses in their free time. Move the football team down to FCS and let the real athletes compete at the FBS level.
2. Comparisons show this child emperor has no clothes
15,000 people (surely inflated) arrived to watch a team that will likely have a .500 season - against a top 15 ranked team? Absolutely embarrassing.
It’s Kadarius Toney punching a Safety who has a football helmet on embarrassing.
It’s getting hamfisted by a team that you beat last year by being outcoached, outrecruited, and outplayed. Greg Schiano and Mel Tucker took the reins on their teams at the same time. Greg Schiano has a billion years of runway at Rutgers due to his previous “success” here, and is certainly going to waste four years building a program.
Losers always talk about the mantra of “wait until Coach X has HIS guys in there!”. As an example of this mantra playing itself out, Syracuse is at the end of their Dino Babers experiment now with three recruiting cycles. They lost to Rutgers in the Carrier Dome this year. Dino’s “guys” aren’t the winning ticket. They can join us in the FCS.
Mel Tucker saw his roster in a state of disrepair and grabbed 20 transfers. He took action. He knows that he’s out after year 3 if he posts three losing records. Michigan tried to give Rutgers the game at least three times. All Michigan did was run the ball. There’s no need to gameplan against Rutgers - they’re smaller, weaker, and less deep than you. Just like an FCS team.
I won’t even get started on the Ohio State game, but they could have put up 100 at full speed. It’s clear that Ryan Day dials it back not to embarrass programs. Just like teams that play tune up games against FCS teams, do.
Nothing makes the move to FCS more evident than recruiting. Rutgers has a good haul so far on recruits! Good news! Currently 21st in the country! Oh shit, in the past two weeks they’ve had decommits? Shortly after their Junior/Senior years and the real school offers come in they no longer want to go to Rutgers? They’re suddenly reproaching their decision to get hammered 4-5 times a year by grown men in a real football program? GET OUT OF HERE! Rutgers is losing top 10 in-state recruits to Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Temple. Bottom tier ACC and AAC schools that would probably do better in the FCS.
The common refrain is that Rutgers doesn’t belong in the B1G. Not only that, let’s remove the football team from the entire FBS. Rutgers ducks #24 FCS Princeton because it might be an embarrassing game. Let’s just steer into that skid and make everyone happy.