You could always be Purdue.
The Boilermakers hosted the newly-minted No. 24 team in the country, surely a good draw. Not exactly. On a beautiful day for football in America’s heartland, Purdue just filled in a tad more than half their seats. Which was probably fortunate that more people did not witness the drubbing/beat down imposed by the Lions over the home team.
With two teams on byes - including the Scarlet - and three of the less enthusiastic fan bases hosting games, it was no great surprise that the Big Ten had its second lowest attendance total of the season. The six games drew 375,469 fans, topping only the 329,764 it drew two weeks earlier when again there were just six home games.
Always an interesting stat, three schools exceeded capacity. Two - Michigan State and Wisconsin - were in good matchups either because of rivalries or quality opponents. And weather was not an issue anywhere in the conference. If anything, it was a bit warm for the players, but great for the fans.
Thus far this season the Big Ten has drawn 4.677 million people with an average of 65,806 per game.
Rutgers hosting Indiana
Indiana is this week’s opponent at High Point Solutions Stadium. As a member of the Big Ten, Rutgers is 2-0 against the Hoosiers. IU is 1-2 away from Bloomington this season.
The Crimson and Cream come to Piscataway at 4-4 (2-3 B1G) and coming off the very large home victory over the Terps. Maryland opened the season 4-0 and everyone looked south and said, “Wow, that Durkin guy is good.” UM is now 5-3, 2-3 in conference.
And while the game is important, there’s also something else going on this Saturday.
We - well, at least I - wanted this recognition for the team that won the first bowl game in RU history. And OTB has been pushing the idea for a while. Be there for kickoff, stay for the ceremony, stay for the band after the game.
Current forecast for the New Brunswick/Picataway area: Sunny, upper 50’s, 0% chance of precip. It’s great...football...weather.
This Week in the Big Ten
A full slate of conference games begins at Noon in Piscataway.
Given our situation and possibilities, I’m probably watching Minnesota-Purdue at 3:30, although Michigan-Maryland has some possibilities for Rutgers’ fans.
At night, I’m putting on BTN to watch Iowa. And that other team.
Speaking of teams from Pennsylvania.....
This was just a whim. Flipping around the channels on Saturday, I watched a little of the Pitt-Virginia Tech game from Heinz Field. What caught my eye was the plethora of fans dressed as empty seats.
Pitt is 5-3 and is coached by a guy that, at one point, a lot of RU fans would have liked to see at Rutgers. There was an announced crowd of 40,254 for a conference game against a former Big East opponent that is only 223 miles away, is No. 25 in the country and is now 6-2. Pitt has a season attendance average of 50,611. But that includes the almost 70,000 they had for Penn State. And the VT crowd was actually the smallest home crowd of the season for Pitt.