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On the Banks Roundtable: Farewell to C-USA 2.0, Hello B1G $$$

We brought together the families of OTB and discussed our thoughts on the end of the Big East/AAC and Rutgers' entrance into the promised land. These are our stories.

So long, mid-major football.
So long, mid-major football.

The past couple of years have been transcendent for Rutgers fans everywhere. Let's break out the nostalgia and reminisce on some of the things we'll miss (or won't miss) from our old shack, as well as take a look to the future in our new multi-million dollar mansion:

Rutgers developed some decent rivalries with Big East foes, in both football and hoops. Which one will you miss the most?

KR: I'm going with the Orange on this one. UConn was always a nuisance, and Louisville had some great matchups lately, but Syracuse was a school that I loved to hate. For me, it was mostly a fan-generated rivalry, as most great ones are. The amount of trolling (on both sides, I should say) created an atmosphere of pure hatred that I actually looked forward to every year.

AE: Louisville. There is nothing I will miss about either Syracuse or UConn, with their lousy venues and angry troll fans.  The Cardinals, on the other hand, always seemed to be a part (good or bad) of the analysis of Rutgers' BCS chances, and some of the matchups with Louisville were among the best all-time atmospheres at the Point. I think we developed a mutual respect with the Cards and their fans.

BC: Hated UConn in everything because, well, because. Louisville was turning out pretty good over the last few years in football.  In hoops, ya gotta be competitive to be rivals, don't you? So....

DW: St. John's.  Under Rice and Lavin, it was developing into a knock down, drag 'em out rivalry with some classic games, albeit Rutgers often on the wrong side. (We still play SHU, so...)

GS: Louisville. After that 56-5 embarrassment on national television the year before, Rutgers came back with the exclamation point to a breakout season with the 28-25 win over the Cards with an iconic sky cam point that will forever remain in New Brunswick/Piscataway. Then there were some back-and-forths for the next few years, followed by a pivotal game in 2012 that -- while still heart-throbbing to this day for me and many other Scarlet Knights -- was, nevertheless, a great game that embodied how great a rivalry this really was in a dull conference.

RR: Definitely Cuse, in all the worst ways. Temple was a respectful friendship. UConn was an awkward hookup. Louisville was the one that got away, the one that could have been special. The Cuse rivalry is the hot mess of an ex where you just get drunk as a skunk and batshit things happen.

Maryland and tTFP are obvious contenders for new rivals in football, but what other schools do you feel Rutgers can build a rivalry with in the B1G?

KR: Wisconsin is a program that matches up well with Rutgers. The Badgers are a run-first team and the Knights are built to stop the run, as HC Kyle Flood loves to say. Plus, Wisconsin has gotten its fair share of Jersey recruits in the past.

AE: Sparty. Our mascots are cousins, they have to put up with endless "little brother" jokes (like we will for the next few decades), and after this season, we will steal their defensive coordinator they will be the first team against whom Rutgers will have a bona fide B1G winning streak (2 games).


BC: I wish we played Purdue more - we're both state schools with names that don't say that. MSU has possibilities; we both have complexes about our position in the world. (see that school in Ann Arbor).  And when you say Wisconsin (yeah, I know, "you've said it all") you need to remember that once upon a time (60's-80's) , they were awful in football. So there's hope that we can rise to that level.

DW: Tough to say.  Maryland and Penn State are the guys Rutgers will be competing with for players, but in basketball, you need an inciting incident.  If, say Chris Collins comes in and tries to take a player or there's a controversy, that's when it could start.

GS: I love the idea of Michigan State, Andy -- and even more so the idea of stealing that defensive coordinator they have over there in East Lansing -- but for the sake of being different, I'm going to say Indiana. Like Rutgers, the Hoosiers, in football, have mostly been at the bottom of the totem pole in the B1G. However, they have been on the upswing. I think their competitive nature, along with being in the same division, will challenge Rutgers. If the Knights can't muster any success against the big boys of the conference, Indiana could be a team that gets their all in each meeting.

RR: Honestly, ttfp is hate target number 1 and nobody else is close. I think we’re going to have a good brotherly rivalry with Maryland. Everyone else falls into the “Man, it’s awesome to be playing against these teams” category.

For some reason, I agree that MSU is going to be a rival, though I can’t explain why…Inferiority Complex Trophy?

Which school do you think can become a rival in basketball?

KR: Northwestern and Penn State are pretty terrible in hoops, so we could get a leg up on kitty schools if Eddie Jordan gets things going. Also, it would be great to get some upsets against the turtles, since they're neck and neck with Philadelphia teams and West Virginia as having the worst fans on the entire planet.

AE: Maryland. We will forever be linked to the Turtles, so might as well start hating on 'em. Hoops is the way to hit them where it hurts, because they don't care about football, the heathens.


BC: Yeah, turtles seem to be the ones. And the possibility of going to away games is more realistic with them than most others.

DW:  Clearly in football our rivalry will be Northwestern along with Maryland and Penn State.  (Yes, I read the question.)

GS: Being linked so closely to Maryland via I-95 clearly makes the rivalry with the Terps always relevant. I think that, like Bob kind of mentioned, that'll bring more road trips by away fans from both sides. Plus, they haven't necessarily been like  a consistently overwhelming powerhouse, as they're just scraping above average, so if Rutgers hoops can begin to turn it around, the annual home-and-home meetings can set up for some competitive, fiery basketball.

RR: That’s the one where you throw the round ball on the lawn and then drink a lot right?

Which coach from the Big East/American did you despise the most, whether it was on the hardwood or the gridiron?

KR: Greg Robinson:

Runners-up would go to Randy Edsall and Doug Marrone.

AE: Boeheim and Rich Rodriguez.  And Geno Auriemma.

BC: 1) Geno Auriemma 2) Geno Auriemma 3) Geno Auriemma  Now that that's clear, I'd say any Syracuse coach.  I really feel they looked at RU with disdain.

DW: Jim Boeheim drove me nuts.

GS: Greg Robinson. The guy's envy for Rutgers was clear, but his disrespect for the program, calling the Knights a "one-hit wonder" and saying that he'd "get Jersey back" in an interview with ESPN prior to the game in 2007 came off as desperate cries for attention from an incapable coach whose seat was only continuing to get hotter. It was only right for Rutgers to annihilate 'Cuse with 38 unanswered points in the blowout, and for Robinson to get the boot the next year after a laughable 10-37 tenure with the Orange.

RR: Definitely Edsall. The unfortunate part is that he’s stick with us in the Big Ten. Dude is the herpes of college football.

Which B1G coach do you despise already or will most likely despise?

KR: James Franklin.

AE: James Franklin.  I also hate the ghost of Joe Paterno.

BC: James Franklin

DW: I don't really like Thad Matta for no real reason.

GS: James Franklin. No explanation needed, of course.

RR: James Franklin can rot in hell. That fuckin guy…

Okay, which B1G coach besides James Franklin do you despise already or will most likely despise?

KR: I've always found Randy Edsall to be rather annoying. Also, proclaiming Maryland as your "dream job" is deserving of a lot of hate and scorn. Bo Pelini is also terrible, but I guess I have him to thank for the amazing Twitter account @FauxPelini.

AE: Edsall, for historical reasons, and Tom Izzo, because for some reason he accused Rutgers of cheating this spring. (Note: If we are cheating at hoops, we should try to be a helluva lot better at it)

BC: Edsall is up there - again for historical reasons.  But will he be there much longer?  Urban Meyer has the potential to make us miserable for a long time, unless he retires again for health reasons.

DW: James Franklin.... WHAT?

GS: Brady Hoke, for the sheer fact that he looks like the type of guy to shut down the GWB (just kidding…outside of looking like Chris Christie's long lost twin, he's probably a really nice guy). I'm going with Randy Edsall -- history at UConn and some questionable arrogance upon taking the job at Maryland.


RRlol, well played.

Herpes. I don’t like Herpes.

If you could go to any hoops or football venue, which school would it be and why?

KR: It's too hard for me to choose just one football stadium, so I'll actually go with Assembly Hall here. I actually think college basketball is the MOST exciting sport to watch live, and I love seeing the crowds at the bigger basketball schools.

AE: THE ROSE BOWL. B1Ggest of all the B1G venues that ever B1Gged. I think Camp Randall would be an awesome trip too. But that's only because I like alcohol and fun.

BC: The Big House, for the sheer tradition.  Camp Randall looks awesome and they seem like a lot of fun.  And I love cheese.

DW: Indiana's hoops court.

GS: This one's tough. As a sportscaster for Rutgers radio on 88.7 WRSU-FM, I might actually have a chance at attending one of these venues come fall and winter. I'd love to be at the Big House, out of them all. Just taking in that type of football atmosphere in a legendary venue like that…we have no clue, as great as the atmosphere at the Point can be at times. Hoops-wise, Breslin Student Events Center where Sparty plays. Mainly because of the awesome student section and the entire arena doing this.

RR: Hate to say it, but I’m going to love going to Happy Valley and watching the Knights send home 100,000 pretentious jerkbags. Winning at ttfp is going to be an awesome, awesome experience.

Football may rule the B1G, but our new conference has other sports too! Which sport do you think has a chance to flourish?

KR: Wrestling is getting really great, but we're also entering the best conference in the nation, so I'm wary of predicting a ton of success right off the bat (mat?). I'll go with men's lacrosse. The Big East is a tougher league than the new B1G group, even with Johns Hopkins and Maryland. Rutgers has a chance to become a mid-tier program that I believe could vie for at-large berths every year in the NCAA tournament. Coach Brecht has them going in the right direction.

AE: Wrestling and Baseball.  Both programs are on serious upward trends, and they will now be playing in a conference that REALLY cares about both.

BC: Wrestling will be fun, although it will be a very big climb against the best wrestling conference in the country - but that should help Rutgers, too.  Baseball will be decent and women's hoops should be mid- to -upper tier quickly.  C. Viv knows the conference having been at Iowa.  I hold out some hope in soccer, both men and women.  Whoa!  Five sports competitive right away?

DW: Women's hoops.  C Viv knows what she's doing.

GS: This one's interesting because there's quite a few. After covering softball and baseball, both have a great chance to do great things. Softball returns all pitchers, including senior ace Alyssa Landrith, as well as eight of the nine starters in a lineup that led a competitive softball conference in hitting. Baseball had 19 freshmen on the roster, with its top four pitchers consisting of three freshmen RHP (Co-AAC ROY Gaby Rosa, Kyle Driscoll, Kevin Baxter) and an ace sophomore in LHP Howie Brey. You have to think those guys will only get better. Wrestling finds the best conference in the country for its sport, and with a young and developing team, can find the B1G resourceful. Women's soccer was one of the best in the country last year, and certainly should compete again this year. Can't forget about C. Vivian and the entire team that she returns from last year's WNIT Championship. Oh, and men's track bringing back one of the best athletes to ever walk through the school in the record-setting Corey Crawford.

RR: I expect our Beirut team to really step up their game. Better recruiting, better facilities, bingier drinking.

Which current B1G coach would you die for to be at Rutgers, football or basketball?

KR: Urban Meyer. Dude wins championships (or at least gets you there).

AE: I am tempted to agree with Kevin and say Urbz, but I don't trust that monkey heart they implanted in him - seems like it could give out at the wrong moment. I am going to go full Sparty here: D'Antonio and Izzo, package deal (I know I said I loathed Izzo earlier, but I would forgive him if he wanted to coach hoops here).

BC: Andy, we're on the same wavelength.  And Eddie, please don't take this the wrong way but: 1) Izzo 2) Izzo 3) Izzo  Then maybe Meyer but I really like D'Antonio, too.

DW: Beilein or Izzo.

GS: Urban Meyer has shown to be a proven commodity wherever he goes. He put Utah on the map, revived Florida and beyond with two national championships, and made an immediate impact at Ohio State by going undefeated in his first year (despite the ban) and coming inches short in the B1G Championship game to eventual Rose Bowl champion Michigan State. How soon we forget that the Buckeyes were likely one win away from a BCS Title date with Famous Jameis and the Seminoles. He might not be able to up the talents of his guys with the snap of a finger but boy does he make them care with the intensity and passion that he instills in each player from top to bottom on the roster.

RR: Urban Meyer…with Greg Schiano as his DC. Chaaaaampionship!

Same question, but which B1G player?

KR: Hackenberg, mostly to troll our friends to the west. Stefon Diggs gets runner-up, same reason for our friends near the beltway.

AE: Braxton Miller, no doubt.  Agree with BC - there is no credible way for a Rutgers fan to answer this question, after seeing what we have seen the last few years, without naming a QB.

BC: Darius Hamilton.  Oh, wait, he isn't in the B1G yet. Braxton Miller.  As a Rutgers fan, anyone who can throw and complete passes to his own team on a consistent basis - and make ridiculous plays - gets my attention.  And while I was kidding about Hamilton, there are other RU players garnering some pre-season attention. And even more.

DW: I dunno.  Big Ten basketball is in a bit of a transition, lots of graduations.

GS: Braxton Miller is a freak of an athlete. I think he's the obvious answer here. You take out an inconsistent Gary Nova and substitute him with one of the best athletes in the country -- a guy who can throw and run? It's something we've never really seen at RU. Rutgers has always longed for consistency at the game's most important position. You take Braxton Miller and, in my mind, he has the power to completely turn around the offense.

BC: Didn't I just say that?

RR: Braxton Miller. Just…just think about it. Oh god. It would be beautiful…

Where do you see Rutgers football and basketball in year five of the Big Ten?

KR: I see the football program consistently getting 8-4 or 7-5 seasons, or at least multiple bowl trips. Head coach Pat Narduzzi is working on a conference championship run by year five, with a berth in the B1G championship in sight with two conference games remaining.

In roundball, Eddie Jordan finally has what he needs from several recruiting classes to run his offense to maximum efficiency. After getting accustomed to the rigors of Big Ten play, several media outlets are pointing at Rutgers as a bubble team. In five years, the NCAA drought could finally be over for the Scarlet Knights.

BC: Truly see it or dream it?  Football will be fine.  I agree that 7 to 9 wins on a consistent basis is doable.  I do feel that Kyle Flood will be gone by then, but who will replace him (and exactly when) is a question. The 2018 schedule (that's year five, right?) has us playing Northwestern, Illinois, and Indiana.  And OOC we face Kansas (oh, yeah, and Miami). I'd like to think that by '18 we can beat them.

In hoops, I think we'll be much more stable and the results will see us competing for NCAA berths regularly.  Recruiting will be on par with the rest of the conference.  Once the practice facility is in place - and that will come sooner than most think - it will boost recruiting light years.

DW: Both still building... hopefully facilities in hoops.  Likely built into better teams than they are now, but not top players in the league.

AE: Allow me to answer pictorially:


Football takes off, building on several successive monster recruiting classes after Darius Hamilton graced the cover of Madden NFL 2018 following his third NFL season.  We take advantage of down years/coaching corruption scandals to win the B1G East.  After smacking West leader Nebraska, we are going for the Roses.

Hoops continues to build, and Eddie Jordan is able to follow an NIT championship with a tourney berth. Overjoyed, Dave pays the OTB staff's travel to Albany for the first round.  On a bus, of course.

GS: If Rutgers football could have nailed down the top 20 recruiting class it had early in the 2013 season, I saw the program competing for a B1G Championship by 2016. Clearly, that's not the case now, BUT...I think Flood is gone after this year (and he should've been gone after last year). Julie Hermann goes and gets Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi, and he begins to build one of the defenses in the country, identical to the one the currently reigns in East Lansing. Rutgers goes back to its dominant defensive roots, finds a quarterback to engineer its offense, and is competing for the B1G in 2018. Hoops looks to have a long road, but could merit a quicker turnaround with one or two big recruits. I think that one guy could be the difference-maker with the development of others on the roster, and a tournament berth could be a possibility.

RR: Just outside the top tier. Going slightly over 500 in-conference and challenging the top tier for championships. I think its going to be 10 years before we start winning them.

In Basketball, I see us not being a hot mess. Which will be awesome.