MnB B1G Preview: Know Your Foe - Rutgers Edition

Rich Schultz

It has come to this. Rutgers has joined the Big Ten. No one really knows why or how, but here we are. In lieu of the assured avalanche of new trophies, slogans, and faux rivalries to come, it's time to know your foe. Rutgers, step on up. *Editor's Note*: I can't be held responsible for how many references to The Sopranos I make. It's airtight.

Let's Get One Thing Straight, Then Fuggedaboutit

Rutgers was brought into the Big Ten conference -- like it or not -- largely to gain access to the New York television market. And its stream of advertising dollars. The greater New York/New Jersey metro area is filled with alumni from all the Big Ten schools, and Rutgers fans themselves will say they're as excited as Tony Soprano in a meat market for the opportunity to play Penn State in football. The Scarlet Knights merely need to prove they belong under the B1G banner by being more than an empty, finely-tailored suit.

LET US HOPE THIS INAUGURAL SEASON ENDS WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN A BLACK SCREEN:

Rutgers has had a rough lead-up to the official entrance into the Big Ten. There was that one now-fired basketball coach, Mike Rice, who threw things at players and shouted at them a lot. The athletic director, Tim Pernetti, was forced out, and the one the school hired in his place has had a PR nightmare of her own. Former basketball players also filed a lawsuit in the aftermath of Rice's abuse troubles. However, a $200 million windfall from the Big Ten makes a lot of that anguish evaporate.

There's more to Rutgers than this. A lot more. It may even help soothe the flaring tempers around New Brunswick.

DON'T OVERCOOK THE RAGU. Travel Channel's Man vs. Food visited the Rutgers campus in 2009, to experience what are lovingly referred to as "Grease Trucks." No, it's not a repository for Paulie Goltieri's hair gel, they serve food. Really good-looking food. Hey, I hope none of the women in the crowd got on Adam Richman's bad side.

YOU TOOK AN OATH, RUTGERS. DON'T ANGER THE DELANY. In a way, Jim Delany is a bit like Tony Soprano. He can do whatever he wants, answers to no one, and could probably make problem schools "go away."

Remember when Greg Schiano turned down Bill Martin to be Michigan's next coach. *SHUDDER*

Rather than stumble through more bad puns, I'l leave this here, and invite comments from anything to what you're most looking forward to about playing Rutgers, your favorite Sopranos episode, or your best worst pun attempts.

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