Rutgers fans will likely have to wait until the start of the 2014 season to be in the Big Ten, but it also gives them plenty of things to prepare for when the move to the richest conference in the nation takes place.
There will be changes in the recruiting game, in the on-field product, in the money that filters into the program and much more.
But there is a lot of reason for excitement in ancillary avenues, and ScarletReport.com continues its “B1G Week” with ten fan-friendly things to love about the jump to the Big Ten.
10. Cool Rivalry Trophies
There are a lot of them in the Big Ten, and a score card is needed, but playing for the Little Brown Jug (Michigan vs. Minnesota), Paul Bunyan’s Axe (Wisconsin vs. Minnesota), the Land Grant Trophy (Michigan vs. Penn State) and the Floyd of Rosedale, which is a trophy of a prized pig (Iowa vs. Minnesota).
9. ESPN Gameday Coming to Campus
When was the last time the ESPN crew high-tailed it to a Big East venue for college gameday? Well, it is a fixture at Big Ten venues, and if Rutgers is having success at the midpoint of a season and has a big game, the chances to Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit stollin’ into Piscataway goes up markedly.
And this time it won’t be just to shoot a commercial.
8. RV Tailgates
Rutgers better get ready to open its parking lots up on Fridays, and find a place to house those RVs. When the folks from the midwest come to town for a football game, they do it in serious style. For some, it means leaving Thursday night and tailgating Friday into Saturday.
The DirecTV hookups will be part of the gig, as will some of the most elaborate tailgate feasts you can imagine.
7. RV Trips
Flying to games won’t be much of an option on a weekly basis, but packing up the family or friends and heading to Champaign, Ill., or Madison, Wisconsin, or Iowa City, Iowa, for a weekend could be a lot of fun.
Forget flying and check out how they do it in the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten. Rent an RV and enjoy a 14-hour drive followed by a 20-hour tailgate. If you want to experience how it has been done in other parts of the country for a while, this is your chance.
6. Making of the Band
The bands now matter, it is more than dotting the “i” for Ohio State. The bands get big ovations at Big Ten games, especially at bowl events. When the charter busses pull up outside of the stadium for a bowl game, the crowd goes wild …as the band steps off.
And the bands can be huge.
The divisions will have to be sorted out, but a trip to Wisconsin is a must. And make sure you are
At your seat for the Jump Around, which takes places between the third and fourth quarter. There is also Ohio State’s dotting of the “i,” the “White Out” at Penn State and Michigan coming out and touching the “Go Blue” sign.
4. Saturday Games
The only thing you will need to know about the schedule is the time. The Big Ten plays on Saturdays, with many games starting at noon or 3:30 p.m. There are no Thursday games, no Friday games, no Tuesday games nor Sunday games. The Big Ten plays Saturday.
3. Kickoff means kickoff
Tailgating is great, and in integral part of the game day experience, but when it is time to kick the ball off, the fans are in the seats. There is no straggling in halfway through the first quarter. When it is time to play, the fans are ready to go as well.
2. Great Bowl Games
Minnesota went 6-6 and is going to what was formerly called the Texas Bowl, the same bowl Rutgers went to at 10-2. The old Gator Bowl, the Outback Bowl and the Capitol One Bowl are on the roster. Oh, and did we mention the Rose Bowl?
1. A Spot at the Playoff Table
Rutgers fans will no longer have to listen to complaints about how the conference doesn’t deserve a big-time bowl bid. If Rutgers win the conference, it will be in contention for a playoff spot. At worst, it will wind up at a marquee bowl game, such as the Rose Bowl.