Rutgers Football Fans, Now Is Not the Time To Give Up on the Program

Jayson LoveCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2009

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  The Rutgers Scarlet Knights take the field to play against the South Florida Bulls at Rutgers Stadium on November 12, 2009 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jarrett Brown's stutter-step move for the game-sealing first down was so eerily representative of the state of the Rutgers-West Virginia series and of the state of Rutgers football—close, but no cigar.

You see, it's always something that crops up for Rutgers that seems to make them fall short against WVU. 

Fans of Rutgers are in melt-down mode if you take a gander at the internet message boards, and the bloggers.  New Jersey sports writers want the university to appologize for their bowl game appearance this year and many are calling the program "stagnant."

While some of the citicism is fair, Rutgers did play two FCS teams and had a sub .500 record in the Big East...it is time to table all of that. 

It's "bowl time" and for the fifth straight year, Rutgers is invited to the party. 

Rutgers fans must think back to the bowl situation that was established prior to the West Virginia-Rutgers kick off 12:00 Saturday afternoon.  Rutgers was projected to be invited to either the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Papa John's Bowl, or the St. Petersburg Bowl. 

The Gator Bowl; the Big East's best non-BCS bowl was already awarded to West Virginia whether Rutgers beat them 100-0 or lost on a last second field goal.

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Why?  The answer is simple: reputation.  West Virginia fans travel and everyone knows it.  In fact, Rutgers was projected to go to the Meineke over a superior Pittsburgh team because its fans have developed a reputation for traveling. 

However, that rug was pulled out from under Rutgers when UNC made a behind the scenes deal with the Meineke representatives to buy up all the tickets Pitt admitted they'd be unable to sell.

And so, the lessons is this: Though Rutgers fans are upset, this is no time to lose sight of the big picture.

Rutgers fans must take out the check book, purchase the plane ticket, book the hotel, buy the game tickets and show up in mass quanitities to support the team and this program as it travels to sunny St. Pete to play the U. of Central Florida. 

Building a program is about the coaches and the players, but it is also about the fans.  It's time to think big picture and put aside the questions for another date.  This is no time to give up.  

Make a difference in Helping to establish the reputation that Rutgers travels! 


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