As of July 1, 2014, all of Rutgers University’s sports are a part of the Big Ten Conference. On Saturday, the Scarlet Knights football team played their first Big Ten Conference game against Penn State. The Nittany Lions came to Piscataway, N.J., and beat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 13-10, even though Rutgers controlled the game 10-0 at the conclusion of the first half.
The Big Ten includes competitive football schools such as the Michigan Wolverines, the Wisconsin Badgers, the Michigan State Spartans, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Ohio State Buckeyes and, of course, the Penn State Nittany Lions.
The Ramapo community had mixed views on how well New Jersey’s very own Rutgers Scarlet Knights could compete in the Big Ten Conference.
Sarah Brodt, graduate residence director for Linden and Pine Halls and Notre Dame football fan, feels Rutgers won’t be able to compete with other schools in the Big Ten Conference.
“Personally, I feel like Rutgers’ school— just their school itself— could not compete with other Big Ten schools and the air about the division,” Brodt said.
Brodt also talked about how Rutgers is not ready for the extreme level of competition the other schools will show in the Big Ten Conference this season.
“I don’t think their team plays on the same level as the other Big Ten teams,” Brodt said. “I don’t think they communicate as well. I don’t think they’ve been trained to communicate as well, and I don’t know if they’re ready for that level of competition.”
Before the Rutgers and Penn State game, Brodt predicted that Penn State would win. Penn State is currently 3-0 with the spoiling win over Rutgers at High Points Solutions Stadium in front of a crowd of over 53,000 hopeful Rutgers fans.
Prior to the game, Brodt had little confiedence that Rutgers would win their first Big Ten Conference game.
“I don’t think they’re ready,” she said. “I don’t think they actually know what a Big Ten game feels like, and especially with Penn State being one of their first ones, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
In Saturday’s game Rutgers led the Nittany Lions 10-0 at the end of the first half. In the second half, Rutgers intercepted one pass from Penn State’s quarterback, Christian Hackenberg, but Rutgers had five turnovers leading to the final score of 13-10 in favor of Penn State.
Ramapo student Chris Duncan also said the Scarlet Knights are going to have a lot of trouble in the Big Ten.
“I think it was definitely a business decision,” Duncan said. “It’s a bigger school, bigger conference, and it’s going to be tough for them.”
Duncan also said Rutgers is going to struggle in the Big Ten because the other schools in the Big Ten Conference have much better recruiting classes than Rutgers.
“Rutgers, they’ve been [known] for recruiting in only New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Florida for the last couple of years,” Duncan said.