Each week until the start of football season, we'll be going through Indiana's opponents one by one and looking at whatever we find interesting and/or hilarious about them. And as always, the kick was good. This week: RUTGERRRRRR.
GAME 9: RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS
Last year's record: 4-8
2015 Final F/+ Ranking: 101
Head Coach: Chris Ash
Where: High Point Solutions Stadium,
New York City Piscataway, NJ
When: November 5, time TBA
1. The scarlet-headed stepchild
From the time that Jim Delany announced that Rutgers and Maryland were joining the B1G, the Scarlet Knights went through a remarkable amount of terrible decisions, bad PR, and outright inexcusable behavior by administration and coaches and athletes.
Former athletic director Tim Pernetti - who helped get the school into the Big Ten - was canned after being lenient towards former basketball coach Mike Rice, who was caught on tape using homophobic slurs and verbally harassing his team. After Pernetti came Julie Hermann, whose many controversies and strange sayings as AD were chronicled here. Former football coach Kyle Flood couldn't control his squad, and eventually was suspended for three games last season after several of his players were arrested and after he tried to coax a professor into changing a student's grade. He was let go after last season's 4-8 campaign. Hermann was fired the same day. On the basketball side, things weren't much better, as Eddie Jordan won three conference games in two years and at one point said he "didn't give a crap" about the school's fans. He was canned after last season as well. Things haven't been going well for most sports in Piscataway, either.
Thus, it's been a rousing first two years in the conference for Rutgers. However, give the Scarlet Knights credit where credit is due - they seem to finally be finding stability. Hermann set the bar low for success as a Rutgers AD, but new athletic director Pat Hobbs has already made two seemingly decent big coaching hires, and more importantly, has not done or said anything too stupid or controversial. This is good! Hobbs hired Steve Pikiell from Stony Brook to coach the men's basketball team, so he's got a guy who can tap into NYC recruiting and try to turn around a program that hasn't reached the NCAA Tournament in 25 years. And in football, Rutgers got rid of Kyle Flood, and hired Chris Ash, who was the defensive coordinator at Ohio State. The hire makes sense - Ash spent the past two seasons at OSU and most of his previous coaching experience is in the Midwest, and like DJ Durkin at Maryland, Ash is relatively young and and this is his first head coaching gig.
Rutgers also will continue to receive a larger share of that B1G TV revenue every year, and Hobbs seems dedicated to building facilities that will put the school in line with other conference teams. Look, I'm well aware Rutgers is here to stay in the B1G - the amount of people who got mad online about this obviously fake article I wrote was impressive. But if they can continue on this positive incline, then who knows - maybe we may not have to make jokes about them anyone.
Just kidding. We still will.
Welcome to big-time college sports, Rutger - you gotta be able to both take it and dish it.
2. Congrats Rutger! You've won two games in a row against Indiana football! What an amazing achievement!
Here is a partial list of teams that have won at least their last two football games against Indiana:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Penn State
- Ball State
Rutger commenters love to point out their "winning streak" against the Hoosiers in football. But sadly, it's not much to brag about - pretty much every B1G team has had their fair share of beating IU recently. Of course the Hoosiers are trying to change that, but the only bragging rights IU's really got are those three straight buckets against Purdue and that 2014 SEC East title.
So congrats to Rutger on being the first school that's not a rival to actually brag about their wins over Indiana. If IU football is now getting trash-talked about their losses as if they're a powerhouse and not the team that everyone just worries is a letdown, I guess Kevin Wilson must be doing something right.
3. Here are some photos of New Jersey governor Chris Christie wearing Rutgers gear, presented without comment
This is the same guy who couldn't even beat out Mike Pence for The Donald's VP slot after openly campaigning for the job for six months.
Guess Indiana beat New Jersey in something, am I right?
Wait. That's not something to be proud of at all.
(And now a choir of angry egg avatars are now yelling "STICK TO SPORTS" at me)
Next week on the CQ Summer Preview Series: WE ARE