In 2014, Rutgers beat Michigan in a football contest played in New Jersey.

People forget that.

Kemoko Turay, one of our best players, blocked a FG attempt with ~3min remaining to seal the 2-point victory. The Kemoko Dragon is currently injured this season. We don't have anyone else on the active roster with a cool nickname. We don't have anyone else on the roster with a nickname at all, in fact.

Rutgers has lost their last two games by something like a zillion to nothing, at Ohio St., and home to Michigan. The Michigan score was actually 78-0. That was the real score. Did I mention it was played in New Jersey? I'll tell you something right now, that score is a bad look. No matter how you shake it: bad look.

But this is my effing website so let's shake it.

Why does losing 78-0 feel so much worse that losing like 56-10? I don't have any idea what Michigan's depth chart looks like, but I can look at the box score above and see that the dude who scored the first touchdown also scored the last. This seems odd to me. Did the final score have to be 78-0? Did we 'deserve' it? Did Michigan 'have to' do that?

What a bunch of dumb questions imo.

The football guy's football guy will tell you that you line up, snap the ball and either stop the other team or you don't. There's no such thing as running up the score. I don't disagree with that. But when a game's final score inspires countless dumb think-pieces, I think it's time to air the other side of this equation, which is basically:


Rutgers is coming off 3-4 years of the most atrocious recruiting imaginable, courtesy of one Kyle Flood, who by all accounts was perhaps the least qualified head coach in Power 5 college football by a mile. He was basically a career offensive line coach given the job by a horrendous, since fired A.D. in an attempt to save some dough. That we entered B1G play with this guy at the helm is unforgivable. But that's what happened.

Chris Ash took over the proverbial trash fire. Whatever. My opinions about him as a head coach will remain neutral until he's given two full years to right the ship pull the sunken shipwreck out of the ocean and build a new ship. He deserves no less.

On top of this, RU has gotten crushed by injuries this season. The two most electric players have been out (Turay, and easily the best player on the roster, do-everything offensive weapon, Janarion Grant). That we have two wins to our credit––same as Notre Dame!––is sort of a miracle. (I truly believe in my heart of hearts that the Michigan score would have been something closer to 63-16 if we were at full strength.)

Will we be a punching bag for the next fifty years? Maybe?! Who knows?! Definitely possible?! Hell yeah baby?! What?! But there is an ebb and flow to these things, which even shitty Rutgers is fortunately not immune to. Ask Michigan about the Brady Hoke era and that loss to Rutgers which was all the way back in––wait, let me doublecheck this––yes, that's correct: 2014.


The best part about all this is that none of it matters. We won. We're in the Big Ten. We're not UCONN. If we're the butt of the joke (the Buttgers of the joke, if you will) for the rest of eternity, that's fine. We have a sense of humor about all this. It's literally our identity. You can't call us shit and hope it upsets us. We invented shit. I guarantee you: we could go 13-0 and win a national championship, and the first noon kickoff game the following season, 50% of the fans will still be tailgating until the second quarter. That's just how we do. 2017 recruiting ranks
In a weird way, it's why rooting for Rutgers is my favorite sports thing to do. We're the permanent underdogs. Nearly every time we beat a great, good or even decent team, it is an 'upset' on some level. It's awesome.

Chris Ash might just be the second stooge in what will turn out to be a long succession of foolish men who attempt to rise the program to the level of the Urbans and Sabans of the world. But the future actually looks brighter than it has in a long time.

We have a Top 25 recruiting class coming in (see left), which never happens. (I actually put very little stock into the collective rankings of the future potential of children who play sports, but it's something!)

By all measures, the coaching staff is young and hungry. They're getting the job done with recruiting, so far (which is 90% of that battle). And, sure, they're implementing a system this year which makes no sense given the current roster––this is how you get outgained 600 to 39, in case you were wondering––but we're generally optimistic. I swear, it's true. Even if you find a bunch of pictures on the internet of our sad fans, we're actually doing great. We're doing great, OK!?

I would never be so bold to say that Rutgers is going to exact their revenge on Harbaugh and UM the next time they come to Piscataway in 2018. And I am not going to say that because there is a 0% chance Harbaugh hasn't dumped the Wolverines for a return gig in the NFL by then. This will inevitably make a lot of the Maize & Blue boys sad. To which, I'll reply:



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