Before the Huskers head to Piscataway, New Jersey for their first ever-game at Rutgers, here are few nuggets to give you a better idea of who the Scarlet Knights are and why they are the absolute dregs of the Big Ten Conference.
1869: The year Rutgers hosted the very first intercollegiate football ever. The Queensmen, as they were called back then, bested Princeton 6 – 4. Their only other game of that inaugural season was a rematch against Princeton a week later that resulted in them getting blanked 8 – 0. Somehow with a 1 – 1 record, Rutgers had the audacity to claim a national title– their only one in 146 seasons of playing football.
Basically, Rutgers is the Anvil of college football. While they may have helped “invent” the sport much like the greatest band you’ve probably never heard of helped influence the speed metal genre, the Scarlet Knights football program has been all but left in the dust by their peers. Luckily for both Rutgers and Anvil, their fortunes have been mostly on the upswing since 2008.
6: The number of current (at the time) Rutgers players who were arrested and dismissed from the team after being charged with a string of home invasion robberies this spring.
3: How many times Rutgers has finished a season undefeated (1876, 1961, and 1976). Curiously, they did not try claiming a national title after either of their clean sweeps during the 20th Century. In fact, the Scarlet Knights were so butt hurt about not being invited to a “prestigious” bowl in 1976 that they took their ball and went home in lieu of playing McNeese State in the first-ever Independence Bowl.
10: The number of times Rutgers has appeared in a bowl game in their previous 145 seasons. While the Scarlet Knights are on the bowl bubble this year, they’ve been on a hot streak with nine bowl bids since 2005. In fact, they played in TWO bowl games in 2008 (the International Bowl against Ball State on January 5 and the PapaJohns.com Bowl against NC State on December 29). Rutgers’ overall bowl record is 6 – 4.
52,454: The seating capacity at Rutgers’ home field, High Point Solutions Stadium. 53,774 fans squirmed inside the gates for the Scarlet Knights’ first game as a member of the Big Ten last season, which led to the Rutgers administration issuing an official apology to Penn State for the rude behavior of their fans.
High Point Solutions Stadium is like a smaller, sadder version of Memorial Stadium.
A Rutgers fan celebrates his team’s entry into the Big Ten by demonstrating that sunscreen makes perfectly good body paint (as long as you have the time to hit the tanning salon).
One can only speculate that this Rutgers fan’s nickname is R-U Going to Eat That?
61,221: The number of people who have the courage to admit to being fans of the Scarlet Knights on Facebook. (For reference, the Huskers boast 597,889 fans.) This shockingly low number says two things: 1) Not as many people care about Rutgers as the Big Ten would like people to believe. 2) Maybe New Jersey residents are still all up in that MySpace.
What Rutgers fans lack in online presence they make up for it with pessimism that puts Husker Nation’s biggest negative nellies to shame.