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Rutgers basketball is officially the first sub-300 KenPom power conference team, ever

The Big Ten's toilet bowl is tonight. And while Minnesota might just be good ol' regular bad, Rutgers' second season in the Big Ten has a chance to be historically, spectacularly terrible.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

There will be a number of things available for you to consume on television tonight.

Wheel of Fortune re-runs. Maybe a few episodes of Bar Rescue. You've probably even got a friend with Ben Higgins' love quadrangle on DVR, somewhere.

Tonight is a night to watch these. Or interact with other humans, like wives, girlfriends, children, and parents. Go to the gym! Go to a show! Go eat pizza alone at the end of a bar with absolutely no access to the Big Ten Network. The Big Ten Network will be showing a live basketball contest between Minnesota & Rutgers. Do not watch this contest between Minnesota and Rutgers.

Of course, that shouldn't be pinned alone on Minnesota, a regular and nondescript young and bad team that greatly helped Indiana with a win over Maryland last week. But, Rutgers. Oh, Rutgers. You were like aware that Eddie Jordan's team is bad, but just how bad? Oh boy.

There have only been five other sub-200 KenPom teams in the Big Ten ever. Rutgers is currently 293rd.

KenPom data's been compiled since the 2001-02 season. In that time, exactly five teams prior to this season have finished the year as a sub-200 team in Pomeroy's rankings. They are:

  • 2009 Indiana (209, 6-25 overall)
  • 2003 Penn State (212, 7-21)
  • 2005 Penn State (215, 7-23)
  • 2015 Rutgers (215, 10-22)
  • 2004 Penn State (218, 9-19)
So, yeah. The Big Ten's never had a team finish worse than 218th in the year-end KenPom rankings. That's almost certainly going to change, as Rutgers currently sits in 293rd in the rankings. Using KenPom's pythagorean metric values, the difference between Indiana's brutal 2009 team and this 2016 Rutgers team is roughly similar between the gap between current KenPom number 1 team Villanova and 16-11 Florida State. Lord.

Oh, and yeah, after this season Rutgers basketball will have supplied two of the three worst teams in Big Ten history, almost assuredly. Fun!

A couple of losses to sub-150 KenPom team Minnesota might be enough to kick Rutgers below the sub-300 mark. They'd be the first ever power conference team to end up there.

Here's a list of teams from power conference schools (ACC, Big Ten, Big East, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12) that have finished below the 300 mark in the history of KenPom ratings:

[null set]

The closest thing to a power conference team that's finished below 300 in the KenPom ratings was a 2009 Fordham team that went 3-25. That's it.

And it's going to probably affect the Big Ten's seeding on Selection Sunday.

Rutgers' struggles are significantly less funny for contenders such as Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, and Michigan State when one considers that having them within the conference and on the schedule might hurt seeding or site selection in a couple of weeks. The Scarlet Knights struggles have implications on the Big Ten's conference RPI, strength of schedule ratings, and individual team RPI ratings. It's undoubtedly certain that removing Rutgers' from each team's schedule and the conference would boost each's RPI, though this figure that the committee uses is admittedly a flawed metric and should be shot into the sun.

It's especially true for Indiana. Remember all those sub-300 KenPom teams the Hoosiers played back in the non-conference? Some of those have trended up, and well, yeah. Here are Indiana's worst five opponents on the schedule by KenPom rating:

262. Kennesaw State

274. Eastern Illinois

293. Rutgers

307. Alcorn State

333. McNeese State

Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez, Rutgers.

Tune into BTN at 8:30 tonight to see if Rutgers can make history. Or, like, do literally anything else.

UPDATE: Rutgers lost to Minnesota tonight by 22, and instantly fell to #301 in the KenPom ratings. It took one dang game after writing this.