Big 10 Football: Predicting Rutgers 2014 Conference Results
Rutgers Football: Predicting the 2014 Conference Season
This is an exciting time for the Big 10 Conference. Extending its reach further to the east, Rutgers and Maryland will be joining the conference, beginning this coming football season. The addition of these two schools means more than just added competition, though, as it also gave Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany the opportunity to realign the divisions.
Both the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins will be competing in the East division, which is looking like the toughest of the two divisions right now. Jumping to a new conference will be tough enough in itself -- new opponents, new travels, unfamiliar coaches and players. Having to begin immediately in a division that includes Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan will likely make for some hazardous conditions in year one.
Today, I take a look at Rutgers' conference schedule, run through each game quickly and give a prediction. Instead of analyzing each and every bit of it, zoom out and take a look at the overall conference record. I don't think it will be that impressive for the Scarlet Knights, but the unfamiliar opponent is always welcomed.
Vs. Penn State - Loss
This is a great opener for Rutgers. Penn State won't be near its potential at this time, and it's a home game for the Scarlet Knights. But I think you're going to see too many Penn State athletes making plays on offense, and a defense that will keep Rutgers at check.
Vs. Michigan - Loss
Again, another very interesting early conference game for Rutgers. Unlike Penn State, though, I think we'll know a lot about Michigan and what they're going to do. There won't be a whole lot of guess work. But with a revamped offensive line and play-making defense, I think Michigan gets this one on the road.
At Ohio State - Loss
This will be one of the toughest games of Rutgers' season. Especially since Braxton Miller made the decision to come back to school for another year, there's no way the Scarlet Knights can pull one out in Columbus and beat Ohio State.
At Nebraska - Win
This is where Rutgers picks up its first win. Nebraska will have a great rushing attack in Ameer Abdullah, but this will be a sub-par defense in Lincoln.
Vs. Wisconsin - Loss
I firmly believe Wisconsin will have a very good shot at being the best team in the Big 10 this coming season with that defensive line and one of the best running backs in the nation in Melvin Gordon. Rutgers won't be able to hold serve at home against Wisconsin.
Vs. Indiana - Win
Indiana's offense will be very explosive at times. But with the defense the Hoosiers feature, there's no room for error.
At Michigan State - Loss
This will be Rutgers' ugliest game of the season. Mark Dantonio's defense will be incredibly tenacious by this point in the season, and they'll be eager to get another win in the division.
At Maryland - Loss
I don't like Rutgers going on the road and stealing a win from the Big 10's other addition. The Scarlet Knights will end their season with a loss.
Predicted Conference Record: 2-6