clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Rutgers Football: Choosing an out of conference rival

New, 93 comments
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

One of the things that irks many Rutgers fans in their lack of an in-conference rival. Everyone wants a rivalry with Penn State, but Rutgers has yet to show anything on the field that indicates they are ready to have a rivalry. Some could say that the two thrillers between Rutgers and Maryland warrants a rivalry, though the history isn't there. In a few years, I could see that as a big-time rivalry game.

However, wouldn't it be nice for Rutgers to have a huge out of conference rivalry game. Think of Clemson vs South Carolina, Florida vs Florida State, or Michigan vs Notre Dame. Why can't Rutgers have a game similar to that. Obviously it would never reach that prestige, but I don't think its unrealistic for Rutgers to establish an out of conference rival.

Obviously this article is hypothetical, since the OOC schedule is set for years to come. However, I've still thought up 5 rivalries I think would be good for Rutgers

West Virginia

This was the easiest one for me. Rutgers and West Virginia have played 15 times in my lifetime and Rutgers is 0-15, including the most heartbreaking loss in Rutgers history. Some of the scores included 48-0, 62-16, 80-7(!!!), and 40-0. With WVU in the Big 12, it is unsure if the teams will play any time soon. I just can't live as a Rutgers fan without seeing a team ever beat West Virginia. Put the blowouts aside and there were actually some pretty good games, including the 2006 game and 2011 when Eric LeGrand triumphantly led the team out of the tunnel. This was always a game I had circled on the schedule and I think it should be brought back.

Temple

Temple just makes too much sense not to happen. They aren't P5 which means they aren't as hard to get on the schedule. Also, they aren't too bad for an AAC team. With the recent flips of Anthony Russo and Isaiah Wright, the recruiting turf battle is as real as it gets. Not to mention, former recruiting coordinator EJ Barthel took his "talents" to Temple and has made it his mission to recruit the state of New Jersey at a higher level than he did when he was with Rutgers. In addition, many of Temple's players are NJ kids who didn't earn a Rutgers offer coming out of high school which definitely adds fuel to the fire. This has great potential.

Princeton

Okay, I know this wouldn't be a real rivalry, since Princeton is in the FCS. However, I think it really stinks that Rutgers and Princeton don't do more collectively to commemorate or at least recognize that they played the first ever college football game. Both school are relatively close in New Jersey and it is very easy to put Princeton on the schedule. This issue is also mainly the fault of Rutgers, given that they have much more money and resources to make that happen. If there isn't something special in 2019 to commemorate the 150th anniversary, I will be very disappointed. Beyond that, I don't understand why these teams can't find a way to play each other anymore.

Boston College

Boy, would it be awesome to get BC on the schedule every year. Korab Idrizi bolted from Rutgers when given an offer from the Eagles, Elijah Johnson flipped his commitment there, and former WRs coach Anthony Campanile now works there. This all happened in the span of one month. In addition, Rutgers lost big-time HB commit Jon Hilliman to the Eagles in the infamous 2014 class. Mike Giacone also flipped his commitment to BC a few years ago. Regardless of who the coaches are, Boston College loves to aggressively recruit NJ, specifically St. Peter's Prep. That recruiting battle combined with the fact that both teams are in similar developmental stages could lead to a very good rivalry.

Navy

Rutgers and Navy have had a great history as of recent, facing off in 15 of the last 20 years. The games are always really good games, regardless of people's complaints of playing a service academy. Navy is clearly a program on the rise with one of the most underrated coaches in the country. They are not too far away and definitely have the facilities for a home and home series. The teams first played in 1891, but only have 25 total matchups, with Rutgers having a record of 13-11-1. I think it is awesome to play a service academy once a year and playing Navy could turn out to be a good boost to the Scarlet Knights' strength of schedule.

Also received consideration: Army, Louisville, UConn, Pitt, Tennessee, UNC, Virginia Tech