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Rutgers & Big Ten Attendance: all things considered, not too bad

Spoiler alert: Rutgers third straight home game to open the season wasn’t a sellout

NCAA Football: Morgan State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t get to see many games in person. Yes, I have season tickets but I also still officiate football on Saturdays, and I’ll continue to do so until my legs give out. So when it comes to attendance I either have to a) trust the figures that Rutgers puts out or b) go to someone I trust to verify the crowd.

Enter the former Managing Editor of On the Banks.

Everything is relative. Thanks, Kevin!

Rutgers will never be confused with Michigan in terms of attendance. They may not even be confused with the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers, eithher (see below).

After the balloon burst of the week before against Eastern Michigan, there were more than a few fans who, I’m sure, felt that Rutgers would be lucky to draw 20,000. They did better than that. And for those who were there, kudos to you!

The bottom line is, of course, putting a winning (competitive) product on the field. And making the fan experience as good as it can be. We’ll see what happens down the line. There will most likely be a pretty good contingent of people in Piscataway chanting O-H...I-O in a couple of weeks. Will there be a good contingent of R....U chants, too?

The Big Ten

Week three in the conference saw the big three continue to draw over 100K. And those are likely pretty close to actual numbers, I would think. Michigan has become Michigan again and Ohio State is where it always is. As for Penn State, the biggest story there wasn’t about attendance but what James Franklin did in the closing seconds of the game. If you missed that, I touch on it later on.

The average attendance is pretty good for the conference. But if you take out the top four above - even leaving in Iowa’s 65,000 +, the average drops to just under 46,000. Which is about 8,000 more than what Indiana and Purdue and Illinois averaged the last two weeks. Good crowds, but not the massive numbers you think of when you think of the traditional Big Ten. And those are traditional teams of the Big Ten.

Some people are never satisfied

And you thought I was whiny about attendance!

Cal is now 3-0 after beating Ole Miss 27-16 on Saturday. It was 62 degrees under light clouds. Your 2-0 team is home to an SEC team. And they draw 37,125. Cal averaged 46,628 at home in 2016, less than this crowd, but I’m not sure it’s a “disgrace to college football”. But you do start to question what is a “good” crowd?

James Franklin is still hated everywhere except central Pennsylvania

This has nothing to do with attendance but it feels good to tell you. So, here’s the deal.

The Lions are crushing a team that started playing football in 2010. Late in the game, GSU decides to get a few points on the board. They make the kick, but Franklin had called and was granted a timeout as the ball was ready to be snapped and kicked. And of course Georgia State misses the second attempt. His explanation?

Uhhh, we had our fourth stringers out there and they didn’t know how to line up for a field goal because I guess we’re bad coaches or something and besides I didn’t want to lose the shutout over a team we should crush and, you know, I’m a jerk.

I know, I’m paraphrasing his response just a bit. But he actually said he called time out up 56-0 to get his players lined up right.

And while I haven’t listened to Mike Francesa in years — because he’s on a par with Franklin — this was perfect.

Speaking of attendance....

And we were at the start of this post...

The Rams once left LA for St. Louis. The Raiders left Oakland for LA. Then they left LA to go back to Oakland. Now the Rams and the Chargers are playing in LA, the place the Chargers originally played in when the AFL was founded almost 60 years ago.

And apparently, a lot of people don’t really care. Los Angeles is now the second city to have two NFL franchises. And they could probably go back to the days of none considering the attendance last Sunday.

Los Angeles needs a pro football team apparently as much as a fish needs a a bicycle. USC and UCLA are great operations and provide Angelinos with plenty of good football.

The numbers don’t lie. The Coliseum is a huge venue that USC does well in; the Rose Bowl, another big building, serves UCLA well, too (over 67,000 / game in 2016). The Chargers are playing in a MLS park. A soccer stadium, and they didn’t fill it. Although they did get 94% of capacity!