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Rutgers & Big Ten Attendance: who's up, who's down?

Week four is in the books. We're heading into conference play; will that increase attendance or will the bottom-feeders just turn their attention to basketball? Was that a Jayhawk flying by?

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

There has been only one Big Ten conference game played to date.  And we shall forget that for now.  That situation changes this weekend as six games will count in the standings.  Only Rutgers (bye) and PSU (home to Army) are not in conference match ups.

And what will that mean to attendance?

Four weekends and 41 games have seen 2.6 million people go through the turnstiles at Big Ten stadiums.  It includes seven with over 100K in the seats.  And nine games where less than 40,000 showed up.  More on that later.

Purdue is the only conference team with a losing record, and was the only B1G team to lose last Saturday,  Minnesota held Homecoming, as did Rutgers, with the Gophers exceeding capacity by over 3,000.

September 26 games

School Attendance Capacity % Capacity Result
Minnesota 53,917 50,805 106.13 W Ohio
Ohio State 106,123 104,944 101.12 W W Mich
Wisconsin 80,829 80,321 100.63 W Hawaii
Michigan State 75,218 75,005 100.28 W C Mich
Michigan 108,940 109,901 99.13 W BYU
Nebraska 89,899 92,000 97.72 W So Miss
Penn State 95,107 107,282 88.65 W SD St
Rutgers 46,136 52,454 87.96 W Kansas
Iowa 56,041 70,585 79.40 W No Tx
Illinois 44,366 65,000 68.26 W Mid Tenn
Northwestern 30,107 47,130 63.88 W Ball St
Purdue 33,160 62,500 53.06 L Bowling Green

Season totals and season averages show a tale of two very different groups.  The haves on top draw big, seemingly regardless of the on-field results, although Michigan has been playing a very different brand of football this year than the Hokesters of the last several seasons.  The teams at the bottom of the list - and that includes Rutgers - are scraping to draw 50,000.  RU has yet to reach a sellout or even top the half-century mark.  Again, that should change, as we talk about later.

School Season Total Average
Michigan 327,274 109,091
Ohio State 317,363 105,788
Penn State 291,495 97,165
Nebraska 269,680 89,893
Wisconsin 234,521 78,174
Michigan State 225,955 75,318
Iowa 179,127 59,709
Minnesota 106,740 53,370
Rutgers 140,125 46,708
Indiana 122,403 40,801
Purdue 120,077 40,026
Illinois 118,792 39,597
Maryland 111,276 37,092
Northwestern 95,262 31,754
Conference 2,660,090 64,606

Wasn't Edsall a failure as a car, too?

If people around Rutgers are pulling their hair out over what's going on here, take a look at Maryland for some comic relief.  Not only are the Twerps just 2-2 to start the season - including a loss at home to the MAC's Bowling Green and a blowout loss at WVU - there are (again) rumblings that the head coach needs to go.

And just as RU made the Misery Index list in week one, UMd is on it now.  But the big story may be that, in addition to people calling for Edsall's head, they're staying home.  In very large numbers.

Editorial Note: The table below has been corrected from an earlier version that had incorrect data.  Apologies.

Opponent Attendance Capacity % Capacity
Richmond 38,117 49,262 77.38
Bowling Green 36,332 49,262 73.75
USF 36,827 49,262 74.76
Home Total 111,276 49,262
Home Ave 37,092 49,262 75.30

4-0 vs. 2-2....and expectations

No one around here really thought that Rutgers would be 2-2.  Oh, they could have been, but most figured 3-1 and even 4-0 was considered.

And he wasn't alone.  But that didn't happen, and Rutgers is looking at its bye week at 2-2.  And with disappointing attendance figures to boot.  Farther west, though, another Eastern Division team is riding high at 4-0.  And their fortunes in attendance reflect the early success.  Indiana averaged 40,801 for its full season in 2014.  With a 4-0 record, the Hoosiers this year are well ahead of that pace.  On the flip side, expectations have taken a downturn in Piscataway, and the numbers in the stands reflect that.  And the lowest total for the year was Homecoming!  That will change, with both Michigan State and Ohio State coming to The Point.  But early results on the field are showing in numbers in the stands.

Schadenfreude (Oh, come on, it's fun)

There are those among us who feel that dumping on old foes, former conference mates, and the insignificant is below us.  Really?  How do some people react to Rutgers being in the Big Ten, to the recent failures off the field, to the HC's suspension?  Yeah!  Right!  So, we're dumping!

Our buddies in the frozen north of upstate New York hosted a Top Ten team in LSU....and couldn't fill the joint.  The Uconnians hosted fellow AAC opponent Navy and drew their biggest crowd of the year....and had about 7,400 empty seats for their conference home opener.  This gives us a warm feeling.  We are happy.

Now get your butts to the Blackout Game versus Michigan State on October 10 and fill the place up!