It’s always nice to sit back and enjoy an easy-ish win though, even if it wasn’t very pretty. And even if it was Rutgers.
Why I can’t seem to fully accept Rutgers, or Maryland for that matter, as part of the Big Ten I just don’t know. I had no issue with Nebraska and they are new too. Plus, in the history of the Big Ten we are relatively new ourselves.
I didn’t realize this conference originated from a meeting called by Purdue’s president all the way back in 1895. The flagship universities had large student bodies and a focus on academic excellence: Purdue, Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Wisconsin. Indiana and Iowa came on board in 1899. Ohio State in 1912. Chicago withdrew in 1946 and Michigan State was added in 1949. It wasn’t until fifty years later we were invited to the party to make eleven teams. Nebraska made twelve in 2011; Rutgers and Maryland have rounded us out at fourteen since 2014, more than a century after Ohio State.
Despite only joining the Big Ten ninety-five years after its establishment, the twenty-plus years we have on Rutgers still makes them feel like a pesky little cousin. We only see you once a year and yet somehow you annoy me. Rutgers got under my skin a while back with their infantile attempts to drum up a rivalry. I have a hard time seeing them as anything more serious than a fly that needs to be shooed. Could it be because they’ve never really posed a national threat? The last time they were ranked was 2006.
Rutgers is having a rough season though and I don’t want to disrespect them (too much). It’s in our not-so-distant past to have had several losing seasons and I’ve known some fine people who are Rutgers alumni. I wish them well with their final game and better luck next season— well, at least in all other games besides ours.
Maryland, on the other hand, posed a huge threat to nationally-ranked Ohio State last Saturday. In our house, we tuned immediately into the Maryland/OSU game when ours was over. I’ve never rooted for the Terrapins before but I guess there’s a first time for everything! Here’s hoping they left it all on the field and bring less pressure to Happy Valley this weekend for our final regular season matchup.
One more hurdle until we achieve our third straight nine-win season. Dare I hope for a New Year's Day bowl game? With this team, you just never know! Go State! Beat Maryland!