If Rutgers joins the Big East, it gets a true rival, Penn State. Nuff said.
Jeff Kalafa a fellow Bleacher Report Analyst talks about how the Big Ten and Big East Conferences compare:
“If one looks at this year's top Big Ten teams (Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa & Wisconsin) and compare them to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Rutgers, it's hard to say which conference is stronger.”
In regards to Jeff’s comment that the talent level of the Big Ten and Big East are the same, might be true, but that is just because of good coaching. The Big Ten gets significantly better recruits than the Big East does. Want proof?
Rutgers University is in the Big East, and Indiana University is in the Big Ten. Rutgers recruiting class for 2010 is terrible compared to Indiana's. Indiana has not won a bowl game in the past eight years!!!!!! Matter of fact, in the past eight years, Indiana has had only one winning season. Rutgers has been to a bowl game for five years straight and won the last four of them. Indiana as a state does not have as much football talent at the high school level as New Jersey does, yet Indiana University gets better recruits than Rutgers. This is solely because Indiana is in the Big Ten. High School Recruits hear about playing against Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State and they sign the dotted line. Whereas for Rutgers, the Recruits need excellent sales pitches.
Just take a look at Indiana's recruits for 2010: http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/recruiting/tracker/school?schoolId=84&season=2010&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fncf%2frecruiting%2ftracker%2fschool%3fschoolId%3d84%26season%3d2010
and Rutgers recruits for 2010: http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/recruiting/tracker/school?schoolId=164&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fncf%2frecruiting%2ftracker%2fschool%3fschoolId%3d164
Rutgers University can get better recruits to the football team, and since the Rutgers Coaching Staff are all excellent, those Recruits will turn into excellent players.
Remember Kenny Britt? The Superstar Receiver that saved Rutgers 2008 Football Season? The first Round Draft Pick to the Titans? He had a Scouts Grade of 40 when he was a High School Senior. Don’t believe me? Here you go: http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/recruiting/tracker/player?recruitId=22439&season=2006&action=upsell&appRedirect=http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/recruiting/tracker/player%3frecruitId%3d22439%26season%3d2006. That is living proof that Rutgers has an excellent coaching staff. The Rutgers Coaching Staff makes players get better. SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER!!! So imagine what they can do with top recruits? If you are thinking BCS and National Championship then you are right on the money.
In 2006 Rutgers was ranked 16th (BCS) in the country and had a 10 - 2 season record. Rutgers beat UNC at UNC, Illinois, #3 Louisville. South Florida at South Florida, Navy at Navy, Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh. Rutgers ended up going to the Texas bowl to face Kansas State. The Bowl Game was played on the NFL Network. That is how small of a bowl game the Texas Bowl is. Rutgers demolished Kansas State in that game and made them look like a FCS team. All Big East teams in 2006 won their Bowl Games.
This year, #13 Penn State went 10 - 2 and they get to play #12 LSU in a January Bowl game.
Why does Penn State get to go to a significantly better bowl game than Rutgers did? Penn State is in the Big Ten. Their fan base gets to watch their team play Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa year after year after year. That is why Penn State’s fan base is significantly bigger than Rutgers’ fan base, even though Rutgers is the closest Football school to New York City. Rutgers Students and recent Alumni can get excited about playing South Florida or Cincinnati, but New York City and most of New Jersey could not care less. New Yorkers know about Michigan and Ohio State and that’s about it. If they realize they can be watching Rutgers University vs. Ohio State with just a train ride, then they will buy tickets. If Rutgers joins the Big Ten, it will get a bigger fan base. By joining the Big Ten Rutgers will go to better bowl games. Want more proof other than Penn State? Look at Michigan State. They are 6 – 6 and they play Texas Tech in a January Bowl Game. Why? They are in the Big Ten.
According to fellow Bleacher Report Analyst Jeff Kalafa: Big East Teams earn five to nine million dollars in television revenue where Big Ten Teams earn two to four times that amount. Many think that Television Revenue is the only monetary aspect that comes from Rutgers joining the Big Ten. That is not true. Michigan has 7.1 billion dollars for endowment. Northwestern has $6.5 billion. Minnesota has $2.8 billion. Ohio State has $2.3 billion. Purdue has $1.8 billion, and Iowa is the lowest with $1 billion. Rutgers has .6 billion dollars in endowment. That is significantly less than all the Big Ten Schools. By joining the Big Ten, Rutgers’ Endowment fund will grow, because of association. Donors will see that the University is finally somewhat equal to the prestigious Michigan and Northwestern Universities. In addition, ticket sales will go up due to an increased fan base. The increased fan base is because of the New York/New Jersey market finally coming to games against Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. If Rutgers joins the Big Ten, the University will receive more television revenue, more endowment money and more ticket sales. The increase in ticket sales, will lead to sold out stadiums which will lead to stadium expansions which will then increase Rutgers credibility. A constant cycle that will only result in more revenue for the University and the State of New Jersey.
So if the Big East expands, which Universities get chosen? Temple, Delaware and Houston. Read about it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/312138-temple-university-is-top-choice-for-big-east-expansion.