ACC Expansion Resume: Rutgers

Rutgers Sees Itself As a Great Addition to the ACC

Each week, we’ll examine schools that could potentially join the ACC at some point if/when the conference decides that 14 isn’t good enough. While it appears that conferences (ACC, and SEC soon) are content with 14 for now, any moves by conference cornerstone programs could cause even more shifting. With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at how each potential addition stacks up.

This week’s resume: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

School: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Team nickname: Scarlet Knights

Location: New Brunswick and Piscataway, NJ

Current League: Big East

Year Established in FBS: 1869

2011 W-L: 5-2

Overall W-L: 599-591-42 (incl. all games)

National Titles: 1 (1869, so really, 0)

Bowls: 6

The Good: Rutgers played in the first collegiate football contest, versus in-state rival Princeton, in 1869. It was one of two games that made up that season, both of which were between the two New Jersey institutions. Aside from that history, Rutgers brings with it sort-of-rivalries with Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Boston College. If one insists, you could also count Virginia Tech and Miami (FL) from their Big East days, too. Media market-wise, Rutgers continually attempts to lay claim to the fictional title of “New York City’s College Football Team.” While that is surely up for debate, the team does deliver the New Jersey market, which is a sizable amount of televisions in and of itself.

The Bad: Rutgers football began play in 1869, yet have only managed to win 599 games. In over 140 seasons. Their only national title is from said inaugural season, when they split the title with the only other team in existence. As for rivalries, most of the aforementioned schools have never really considered the Scarlet Knights a “rival” due to their general ineptitude on the field of play (in all sports, but specifically football). Syracuse has only recently become a rival due to their Orange’s lackluster football product from 2004-2009 and the school’s creation of the fictional “New York’s College Team” moniker. Until 1978, Rutgers competed for something known as the “Little Brass Cannon” with Lafayette and Lehigh. So there’s that “storied” tradition.

Our Vote: Rutgers is obviously the third option in the ACC expansion debate, behind Notre Dame and Connecticut. The only way they’ll get a nod is if Notre Dame becomes a a definitively closed door, but that is still a very fluid situation. Should ACC fans be okay with that, though? I don’t know. When its football team is down (as it has been for 135 of its 142 years of existence), the school brings nothing to the table in terms of other sports, and it’s still extremely questionable who (if anyone) brings home the New York marketplace. With all of that in mind, the answer is a conditional no, unless Notre Dame heads to the Big Ten/Big 12.

Previous Resumes: Connecticut, Notre Dame, Louisville, Cincinnati


7 thoughts on “ACC Expansion Resume: Rutgers

  1. Watching the UConn. vs Pitt game. I think there are 13,000 fans there. ACC should take Rutgers or they will leave a hole that the Big Ten could exploit. Recent NY times article says that the number of Rutgers fans in NYC are equal to PSU, ND, and UConn fans combined. The school has over 50,000 students and when they get good support will explode. Plus check out the links with their TV ratings. Not to mention AAU scool. Look to the future and not the past.

  2. Definitely don’t doubt Rutgers’ overall merits — but banking on that team to succeed seems risky, considering their suspect football history and lack of success in basketball either. Any team can stand up against the “if they were successful” argument, not just Rutgers.

    And those TV numbers? Believe me, they were cited here. Too many additional factors not taken into account, however, to make them warrant more than a glance. A flawed study, really (specifically pointing to the NYT piece that Nate Silver handled a couple months back).

    • of course you won’t take more than a glance, because they compleely refute your argument. Seems logical to dismiss it since it proves you’re wrong.

      By the way, only someone who is not educatded on the subject would think that Rutgers has had 135 down seasons out of 142.

      While we haven’t set the world on fire, it will obviously surprise you to know we’ve had more winning seasons than losing seasons, multiple undefeated seasons in our history, and multiple one and two loss seasons as well.

      In fact, if it wasn’t for the disastrous Shea era, where the coach sucked for six straight yers and set our program back another 5….there wouldn’t be the myth everyone holds that we’ve never been good except for the last 7 or 8 years.

      Of course, that also doesn’t support your argument, so I’m sure you’ll dismiss that as well.

      • It’s funny you criticize me for “making assumptions,” yet doing so is an assumption in itself. My argument is pretty simple — the ACC, if it decides to add two schools, it should be searching for institutions that add both football pedigree in some form and must have the ability to be competitive on the basketball court as well. With these factors in mind, Rutgers is an obvious third behind Notre Dame and UConn.

        When measuring success, I went with the most simple metrics for every team — not just yours — wins, titles and bowl games. This is where you get agitated, since (as you pointed out to me above) it doesn’t support your argument. Never claimed Rutgers lost every game they played, however, when you’ve barely won more than you’ve lost, that’s a point of contention. Same goes for the overall bowl games. In college football, there are no playoffs to define a successful season, so that’s the best measure we’ve got. In that regard, your team fails compared to many other institutions. As I even point out in my article on Connecticut, you guys own an advantage versus them in football, however, basketball is what puts them over the top.

        “Of course, that also doesn’t support your argument, so I’m sure you’ll dismiss that as well.”

  3. actually, I was referring to how easily you dismissed the reports and actual figures of Rutgers attendance. Those articles clearly show that people do care, and do watch RU football. Your attempts to discredit that were obvious.

    Maybe it should be mentioned that Rutgers has been part of four of the five highest-rated college football games in the New York City area on ESPN.

    That list is headed by Rutgers-Louisville in 2006, which drew a massive 8.1 rating, and includes Rutgers-West Virginia in 2006 (6.04); USC-Ohio State in 2009 (3.74); Rutgers-Cincinnati in 2006 (3.62) and Rutgers-South Florida in 2007 (3.35).

    Rutgers has also been in all of ESPN2’s top 5 highest rated games. That’s 9 out of the 10 highest rated games on the two ESPN networks. How do you refute that?

    Syracuse is not in the top 10 of ESPN’s list of the most-viewed college football games in New York City.

    Regarding you saying RU has been down for 135 out of 142 seasons…well, that is just so factually inaccurate, it makes me wonder how much you really know. Sounds like a typical response from a Syracuse fan/alum about Rutgers. It’s like someone who only knows about the last 10 years of Syracuse football…saying SU has been horrendous most of their history.

    Wouldn’t you say that is misguided? RU never had an image problem before Terry Shea made us a laughing stock in the mid 90’s. We were only “decent” under Graber and Anderson…but before that, we were very successful in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s with multiple undefeated and 1-loss teams.

    • Once again, you point to me as “typical,” yet I can say the same to you. Since we’re both obviously biased for and against Rutgers, let’s call it a wash.

      Holding up our worst decade against your best is also questionable. But I’ll allow it for the time being (I suppose).

      Taking a look at your facts from previous decades, I’ve got two one-loss and two undefeated seasons in the 50s, 60s and 70s, all of which were amassed against questionable competition. Your full slate of games those years would have been considered 1-AA/FCS then (if it had existed) and surely would be now. Why wait till the 90s to consider your team irrelevant or a laughingstock when you can point to 1980 — beyond the occasional stop-gap 7-4 year until the 2006 banner year? Obviously I have no problem giving credit where credit is due from ’06 on, when you were surely the class of the NY metropolitan area in football. But before that, please refrain from trying to bill your team as anything but mediocre.

      • Oh, so now, you have to adjust your argument to say we were “NOT DOWN, but no better than mediocre? Nice back-peddling. By the way, why would we point to 1980 as being irrelevant? We were 7-4 that year, and lead #1 ranked Alabama the entire game until they scored with 40 seconds left in the game to win 17-13?

        And RU didn’t play anyone? This whole paragraph makes no sense. Of course the teams we beat were 1AA equivelants prior to the early 80’s. I have news for you, genius. Back then so was Rutgers. We did not commit to Big time football, or make the jump to D1, until 1979 when we ramped up our program with scholarships and increased funding in the early 80’s.

        We played who we matched up evenly with from a program-funding standpoint. We were a program much closer aligned with the Ivy’s and teams like Lehigh and Lafayette. But we were successful. we were not a “down” team as you said. You are just misinformed. Like most SU fans, you don’t know much about our history and think we had losing seasons every year except the last 7 or 8 years, so I’m going to help you out on your history. You’ll thank me later.

        In the 30’s decade we had winning seasons 7 out of 10 years, with two 7-1 seasons and multiple 6-3 seasons. Still think that’s a down decade?

        In the 40’s decade we had 9 winning seasons out of 10. with seasons of 8-1, three seasons of 7-2. only a fool would think that’s mediocre.

        In the 50’s decade we were mediocre, with only 5 out of 10 winning seasons, but did have Bill Austin as a First team All American in 1958 when RU finished 8-1.

        in the 60’s we had winning seasons in 6 out of 10 years, including 8-1 in 1960, 9-0 in 1961, and 8-2 in ’68. Alex Kroll was A first team ALL American in 1960 and ’61 when RU went 9-0.

        In the 70’s we had 8 out of 10 winning seasons and one season even at 4-4. We had seasons of 11-0, 9-2, 9-3, 8-3, 8-3, and 7-3-1. Mediocre? Only if it suits your argument I guess, though no one would agree with you.

        And I don’t want to hear that we didn’t play big time teams. We played teams that were at the same level as us. We were not “Down” as you say.

        When we jumped to the Big TIme in the 80’s, our administration did it half-assed, and we were at a huge disadvantage facilities-wise (Like ‘Cuse is now) and funding-wise to match up with the big boys. Even with that said, we still
        had winning seasons 4 out of the first 10 years of D1.

        in the 90’s we sucked. I full admit that, and only had 2 winning seasons and a 5-5-1 season.

        In the 2000’s we were mediocre. We sucked the first half of the decade, and finished the second half with 5 straight winning seasons including our 11-2 record in 2006. I’ll give you mediocre for that decade.

        Still think we were “down” 135 out of 142 seasons? Of course you do. You are an uneducated Syracuse fan who hates it that your program can no longer walk in to NJ and take the top recruits like it did in the 80’s and 90’s.,now that Rutgers rightfully rules recruiting in NJ.

        It’s no wonder you don’t want us in the ACC. You can no longer get our top players. Same reason your program has been horrendous recently, finishing in dead last in the Big East 6 out of the last 7 years.

        Good luck in the ACC, battling Duke to stay out of the cellar.

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