Great crowd, great atmosphere, but why all red unis?

Quick hitters to start

1. I really don’t like the red on red uniform combination. Red jersey and white pants – good. White jersey and white pants – also good. Red jersey and red pants and red helmet? Not so much. Maybe add a stripe or something down the sides of the pants? Much better than the salmon/pinkish stuff we had, but I’m just not a fan of the all red look.

2. On to Syracuse. (rolls eyes)

The Orange are (is?) 4-0 after a Friday night win over Virginia, 22-20. It was the conference opener for Cuse and the game drew 34,590. Syracuse came into the game undefeated. It was a conference game. And the blimp hangar was less than three-fourths full. In 2021, a much worse Syracuse averaged just 32,461 to the Dome. Everyone here smiling?

3. In a completely different vein, Kansas – yes, football powerhouse KU – had its first sellout since 2019 and only its second full house in the past 13 seasons. The Jayhawks topped Duke 35-27 in front of 47,233 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Their home field holds 47,000, so a full house plus! KU is now 4-0.

Meanwhile, back on the banks of the old Raritan, RU filled SHI Stadium with an announced crowd of 53,117; that’s 101.3% capacity and the fifth largest crowd at the stadium. And people took note. From Steve Politi’s tweet about the great atmosphere to the volume that hasn’t been heard there in a while. It was a feeling inside the building that current players do not know. Even the Iowa fans gave shout out to the folks in Scarlet; we do have some really good fans!

But the flip side was also noted. Rutgers doesn’t always get the biggest crowds, and playing as they did Saturday night – when they could have made a statement – doesn’t necessarily draw people back. And he’s right. Rutgers has never had a large and deep fan base (reference Nebraska!), so you can’t throw up clunkers when you have momentum on your side.

So, what happens in two weeks when RU returns from the road game at Ohio State. They’re playing a struggling Nebraska squad on a Friday night! The blackout game. Will fans turn out? In the words of the Raiders’ Al Davis, just win, baby.

Around the Big Ten

The conference averaged 70,814 fans over eight games. That number was achieved no thanks to Illinois and Northwestern. The Illini are 3-1 but are only averaging 36,360 per game; that’s just 59.9% of capacity. It was a Thursday night, so who goes to class the next day? It was a clear, crisp evening. But the crowd? I know it was against Chattanooga, but ya gotta play somebody!

And, then there’s Northwestern. Again. Over three home games, the Cats have drawn fewer fans to Ryan Field combined than were at Saturday’s game in East Lansing. Northwestern is barely getting to a half full house. And their results on the field aren’t helping; the Wildcats are 1-3, including three straight "L"s following the opening week win over (checks notes) Nebraska in Dublin.

All other home-standing teams in the B1G were at 90% or better this past weekend. Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State each had over 100,000 in the building; each actually had over capacity joining Rutgers in that group.

Through four weeks – or maybe five with "week zero" – the Big Ten has drawn 2.6 million fans. Next week sees the beginning of full league play with some big stadiums in use: Nebraska (85,458), Ohio State (102,780), Penn State (106,572), and Wisconsin (80,321) are all home. Keep an eye on Maryland; they haven’t drawn well, but they’re playing Michigan State.You’d think that might pull in fans. And now-ranked Minnesota will be at home after demolishing tat same MSU squad; will it get a sellout?

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