“I’ve got plenty of confidence in the Board, the President and the AD that they’ll get things going in a good way.”
That was soon-to-be-former Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany in October of 2015, speaking to reporters about a beleaguered Rutgers football program battling off-the-field issues that stained the reputation of the university and, by association, the conference. Since then, the Scarlet Knights have done nothing but dredge rock bottom even further on it.
The story that included Delany’s quote was posted on nj.com on Oct. 9, 2015; in the four-plus years since, Rutgers football has posted a 10-41 record overall and a Kansas-esque 4-35 mark in conference play. Two of the 10 wins have come at the expense of FCS schools. They’ve lost a pair of games to MAC schools, including one by 29 points to Buffalo last season.
Kyle Flood was fired in November of 2015 amidst scandal; Chris Ash was fired in September of this year amidst a 1-3 start to the season that included three straight losses by a combined score of 112-16, with two of those losses being whitewashings at the hands of conference foes. The firing hasn’t made the on-field problem much better, with just 14 points scored in the three games, all losses, since the dismissal.
RU FAN: “We’ve hit rock bottom, right?”
RU FOOTBALL: “Hold my beer…”
In Week 9, Rutgers will play host to Liberty. RU is in the midst of celebrating its role in the first-ever college football game played 150 years ago next month. Liberty, meanwhile, announced its transition from the FCS to the FBS in 2017, playing as a provisional FBS member for the first time in 2018.
All of which brings us to…
That’s right. A Big Ten team is upwards of an eight-point underdog. At home. To a school that, this time two years ago, was still a member of the Football Championship Series.
Here’s to hoping that New York/New Jersey television market was worth the ongoing embarrassment RU’s addition has wrought on the conference, Mr. Delany.