It’s Rutgers week. Time for a quick history lesson.
No one likes Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights used to be really bad. But it didn’t really make any sense because they had bonkers talent all around them. They were only a hop-skip from Manhattan. Then Crazy Eyes Schiano came along and basically did the bare minimum to make RU good. He kept a few local kids at home. He competed in a watered-down Big East after the ’04 defections. He won a few games, and players who felt like playing for their neighborhood team did. And in his long and storied career at RU, Schiano finished in the top 25 once. Yep, once. And they had like one big game on an ESPN Thursday night when people paid attention, and the Empire State Building was lit red. But suddenly he acted like he invented football, was the second coming of Nick Saban, and the attitude of Rutgers fans grew to be insufferable. Maybe you RU peeps don’t remember, but you sucked royally for like a century and that only ended like ten years ago. And the peak of all that Schiano success was somewhere between a Texas Bowl and a Beef O’ Brady’s one. So, let’s get off the high horse.
That’s Rutgers history.
So now it’s Rutgers week, and RU’s athletic department is trying to get #chopcuse to catch on – which is pretty damn lame. And the Knights have an undefeated team that’s wearing silvery helmets that make them look like Shredder wants to play some Pee Wee football.
Guess what happened when Rutgers started begging to get into the Big 10? Sorry, no vacancy. When the ACC was looking to expand? Yeah – we’ll take Miami, and Virginia Tech and BC – and then Syracuse and Pitt – and yeah, Notre Dame. Hell, the Big 12 took West Virginia. “Sir, Rutgers is on line 4.” “Uh, tell them I’m busy.” Conferences have been staying away from the Knights like they had farmer B.O.
And it’s pretty great that players from around the conference all realize how shady and arrogant RU is. Here’s actual quotes from the UConn Husksies (maybe the only time I’ll ever applaud them) before their game last week.
Dwayne Gratz, corner (Piscataway):¬†“I don’t like Rutgers.¬†I never have. I never will.¬†The funny thing is, Rutgers didn’t offer me until UConn did. I kind of built a little hatred for them.”
Ryan Wirth, defensive tackle (Medford, NJ):¬†“I committed to UConn after prep school. And you know what? Rutgers was in the door the next weekend. Since high school, it’s always been that kind of deal for everybody on my team. I think everybody wants to let them know, ‘I bet you wish you did [chase them hard with an offer].’ But everybody here is happy to be where they are. I know I would never trade it for the world. It’s just letting it be known – you know.”
Nick Williams, senior captain (East Windor, NJ) on RU’s all-black uniforms. “I don’t know how you have a black-out at noon. But, hey, it’s Jersey.”