It’s practically unbelievable, but there is a great chance that the No. 15 ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights finish the 2012 college football season 12-0 and play in the Orange Bowl. There’s also a chance, albeit smaller, that the program winds up in the BCS National Championship Game.
This is a Rutgers football program that was widely considered to be the worst in the entire nation just 15 years ago, culminating with a 0-11 record back in 1997. It’s a team that was supposed to be rebuilding after former coach Greg Schiano’s defection to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL.
Now it’s a squad that is 7-0 under first-time coach Kyle Flood and looks to be smooth sailing from here on out.
There are only two foreseeable problems on the horizon.
One is against Pittsburgh in Week 12, as RB Ray Graham is always tough to contain. The other is the season finale, which will take place on Nov. 29, when the Knights host No. 16 Louisville at High Point Solutions Stadium.
If Rutgers is able to go 11-0 up until that point, earn a hard-fought victory against a ranked Cardinals team and get some luck, there’s a highly realistic possibility that it is going to the BCS title game.
They’ll need the Kansas State Wildcats to fall in or before the Big 12 championship, the Oregon Ducks to do the same with the Pac-12 title game and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to lose a contest before the playoffs begin.
Since the SEC is so crowded at the top, Rutgers would likely play their championship game winner—likely to be the only undefeated team in the conference—if the Knights can get their ranking high enough by the postseason.
One major area of concern for the Scarlet Knights is whether or not Louisville remains undefeated.
Should they accomplish that, it would make for an epic showdown to end the campaign, as it would give them a huge boost in the final BCS standings.
If all of those stars align, the New Jersey-based school could shock the powerhouses down south and out west by competing for the biggest prize in college football. While this all sounds far-fetched going into Week 9, it might not be such a crazy concept in a few weeks.
Keep an eye on these Scarlet Knights; they might surprise you.