Over the next 13 days, we'll be previewing each of Maryland's soon to be B1G foes as the University prepares to leave the ACC and officially join the Big Ten. Today, we begin with the other school joining the B1G this season - Rutgers.
School name: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Location: New Brunswick, NJ
Mascot/nickname: Scarlet Knights
School colors: scarlet
Distance from College Park: 190 miles
B1G Member since: 2014
Notable achievements: Getting into the B1G, sharing the 1889 National Championship in football with Princeton.
We’ve been in the ACC since forever. Tell us more about Rutgers and if there is an ACC school they're similar to:
Rutgers ranks as the 69 best school in the U.S. News and World Report's 2014 rankings. The closest ACC school to that would be Virginia Tech, which also checks in at #69.
From a football perspective, Rutgers...hasn't been very good. Aside from the 1869 national title, the highlight of Rutgers' football program is probably the 2006 season, when they went 11-2 and finished the season ranked 12th in the last AP Poll of the year. Not exactly what you'd expect from a school that stakes claim to being the birthplace of college football. In the entire history of the Rutgers football program, they've only been to nine bowl games and won four conference championships. That translates to one conference title every 36 or so years and a bowl game every 16 or so years.
Basketball isn't much better for Rutgers. The most meaningful basketball season probably came during the school's lone Final Four appearance in 1976. The next biggest accomplishment for Rutgers basketball? Playing in the 2004 NIT Finalsl.
High Point Solutions Stadium is where Rutgers' football team plays and checks in with a capacity of 52,454, so very similar to that of Byrd. The stadium underwent a major renovation in 2009 that increased the capacity from 41,500 to its current 52k+ capacity. That renovation also included adding a new 7,600 square-foot recruiting lounge and welcome center, a new scoreboard, and a 1,000 premium club level.
The RAC (Rutgers Athletic Center), built in 1977, is the home to Rutger's men's and women's basketball team. While it only seats 8,000, it's one of those arena where everyone is kind of on top of you. Apparently, it can also get very loud inside.
Rutgers also has a nice and recently renovated baseball stadium/facilities.
Other athletic programs:
One of Rutgers' most successful athletic programs is arguably their women's basketball program. They were the AIAW National Champions in 1982 and have fielded several good teams during that time.
Overall, Rutgers fields 27 teams, according to Wikipedia: baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, swimming and diving, wrestling, and volleyball.
Food, beer, & Town:
Oh baby. The Fat Sandwich. The sweet, sweet Rutgers Grease Trucks on College Avenue.
I'm hungry now. Other famous New Jersey foods, outside of those just in New Brunswick? Pork roll & a hard roll with butter.
In terms of beer, one of my personal favorite New Jersey breweries is Flying Fish, which famously has beers named after exit numbers off the Jersey Turnpike.
How likely is Maryland to develop a rivalry with this school?
I've always felt like Rutgers could develop into a natural rivalry with Maryland for a number of reasons. With both schools set to join the B1G together, as two of the eastern schools in the conference, it makes sense that the two schools could develop a love-hate relationship with each other; sticking together when the other B1G inevitably complain about our schools joining the B1G, but battling things out when it comes to athletic competition. And of course we can both unite together in our hatred of Penn State, otherwise known as "that school from Pennsylvania."
Rutgers will also be the closest school to Maryland, so road tripping there will be one of the few easy trips Maryland fans can take to see the Terps play on the road.