For most of its existence, Rutgers University has played a “small school” schedule even though it is a big school with a large student body. The football program was run much like an Ivy League football program with a modest budget and recruitment of second-level high school athletes.
As a result, the Scarlet Knights rarely received a bowl game invitation and, in fact, suffered through losing seasons almost every year. That began to change about ten years ago when the university’s Athletic Director decided to overhaul the program.
In the years since the overhaul began, Rutgers University has received bowl game invitations almost every year and has even won most of those games. In an effort to elevate the program even more, the Rutgers University Athletic Director took advantage of an opportunity to have the football program join the Big Ten Conference.
That happened in 2014 and the Scarlet Knights did very well in their first year as a member of a major conference. The team produced a Won-Loss record of 8-5 while winning three of eight Conference games.
The eight wins helped Rutgers University get an invitation to the Quick Lane Bowl where it beat North Carolina University by a score of 40-21
Head Coach Kyle Flood, now in his third year, approached the new season with high hopes and great expectations. His team opened the football year at home with a rout of Norfolk State University. The final score was 63-13. The Scarlet Knights stayed home for the Week Two contests against Washington State University. The visitors shocked the home team by outscoring them. The final tally was 37-34.
Off-field problems for some key players have resulted in suspensions and distractions for this squad. In Week Three, Coach Flood received a three-game suspension for what was termed “inappropriate behavior” and, as a result, the Scarlet Knights lost their first road game of the season to Penn State University by a score of 28-3.
Remaining home games for this troubled football squad have it playing the Kansas Jayhawks on September 26th, 4th ranked Michigan State University on October 10th, top-ranked Ohio State University on October 24th, the University of Nebraska on November 14th and the Maryland Terrapins on November 28th.
Road contests include games against Indiana University on October 17th, the 24th ranked Wisconsin Badgers on October 24th, the University of Michigan on November 7th and the cadets of West Point on November 21st.
It seems readily apparent that if the Scarlet Knights don’t quickly “iron out” their off-field problems 2015 could turn out to be the season this school wants to forget.
Courtesy of App.com