Rutgers Football: Scarlet Knights Must Beat Ranked Team to Be BCS Contender

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 17, 2012

PISCATAWAY, NJ - OCTOBER 13: Quarterback Gary Nova #15 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights celebrates their 23-15 win over the Syracuse Orange at High Point Solutions Stadium on October 13, 2012 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Rutgers has begun the season 6-0, but it doesn't deserve to be mentioned as BCS bowl contenders yet. The Scarlet Knights haven't played a ranked team, and only one of their opponents even has a winning record. That one opponent is Howard, and it plays in the MEAC which is far from a major conference in college football.

Though Rutgers' record is impressive, I'll hold off on any BCS talk until it beats a formidable opponent.

The Scarlet Knights' defense is the biggest reason they're undefeated. They've only allowed 11.5 points per game, and that's the third lowest total in the nation. It's important to see that defense match up against an offense with major weapons.

To a certain extent, this isn't a complete case of soft scheduling. They played Arkansas on September 22, and if you took a look at Rutgers' schedule before the season started, most people would have called that game a major test.

The Razorbacks have been far from a quality team this season. The Scarlet Knights won the game 35-26, but the loss dropped the Razorbacks to 1-3 at the time. That effectively took much of the shine from the Scarlet Knights' victory.

As it stands, they won't play a ranked team until November 17 when they visit the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats are currently ranked No. 21 in the nation, but anything could happen over the next three weeks.

The same could be said for their season finale against Louisville on November 26. The Cardinals are currently ranked No. 16, but there's a long way to go before that game is played.

Rutgers is in the same situation many mid-tier programs find themselves. They can only beat the teams put in front of them. That said, you can't place a team with no wins over ranked opponents ahead of schools from major conferences.

The jury is still out on Rutgers.


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