First a little bit about me. The very first “real” football game I attended was a game in the ’90s when my dad got some free RU tix. Curiously, as Chinese immigrants, from the outside looking in, the two dudes partook a long-time, heartland America tradition: NCAA Division I Football. Army at Rutgers. This was before the High Point stadium was built, so we were playing even closer to where we lived. I think I was maybe a Freshman in high school. Of course, this is before the Schiano era as well, and the now-athletics director Pernetti probably was just a small-time mid-level manager. Rutgers was just having its butt handed to them in the Big East, which it joined not all that long ago at the time. It was a chilly November day and as usual, RU got its butt handed to them. I remember more fondly when Army’s canon went off, and seeing the red knight rode on the field.
To all those OSU dudes planning a trip to central NJ: You know that Avengers movie? You want shawarma that’s actually good? New Brunswick has it (now). But that’s another 10 minutes from the stadium w/o traffic, and the traffic going into NB sucks. Probably triply so right after a game. And forget about parking!
Star Ledger sports writer Steve Politi has it. Not only an answer to Nate Super-Oracle Silver’s Google-search fueled inquiry (actually the numbers speak for themselves, RU is a perfectly fine pickup and fits the B1G profile), but points out the obvious: times are a-changing. I even bothered reading some of what those mid-western columnists had to say about the dilution of the Big Ten.
Well, maybe it is political. Because this is a change you all should believe in. Not only in terms of the obvious–RU is a real academic powerhouse (when’s the last time Maryland turned down an offer to join the Ivy League?). There are a lot of good arguments to keeping the Big Ten the way it has been but since it ceased to be the Big Ten with Penn State, why bother? If the possibly enigmatic Big Ten commissioner wants to expand to the east, how is that a bad thing? The worst piece I read came from some newspaper which argued that this isn’t good for the games. Hello? RU is 3-0 against B1G opponents, right? And it’s not like they play them every year. The part that makes it the “worst” is how it then complains how college football is not a religion to some of us like how it is to the stereotypical mid-west demographic. How is this “part of the game” now? More like part of the meta-game, yeah?
There are plenty of Buckeye fans that I want to go with to see that inevitable game, and most of them lives on the East Coast. It would be p. chill.