The game was dubbed facetiously by none less than SB Nation as, “College Football’s Super Bowl, Rutgers-Kansas.”
It didn’t live up to its building as a game filled with excitement, which would go down to the wire. Kansas, a 1-point favorite at home, drubbed a downtrodden and poorly coached and prepared Rutgers team, 55-14. And it could have been worse. Rutgers had 6 turnovers and Kansas only moderately capitalized on them.
Rutgers freshman qb savior, Artur Sitowski was a woeful 7-19 for 47 yards and 3 interceptions, 2 of which were taken back by Kansas defenders for touchdowns. He was mercifully pulled in the third quarter by beleagured Rutgers head coach, Chris Ash. The former Ohio State defensive coordinator is now 7-20 at Rutgers. The winning coach, David Beatty improves to 4-34.
There were many first set in the game, including the first time since 2009 that Kansas has beaten FBS opponents in consecutive weeks. They beat Central Michigan last week on the road.
But the game score and the records are not relevant. The game speaks volumes in many other crucial regards.Not the least of which is that Rutgers, just like during the Terry Shea era, will be the butt of jokes on media outlets such as ESPN, for the next week
Ash went 4-8 last season and received a 4 year guaranteed extension, reportedly worth 10 million dollars by Pat Hobbs, who is in his 4th year as Rutgers AD.Many followers were stunned. Some applauded the decision. Hobbs gets high marks as a fundraiser. Not so much as the CEO of an athletic department which competes in the Big Ten in football.
Hobbs first act once assuming the post, was to hire Ash. Rumor has it that he could have landed Syracuse head coach Dino Babers, former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, now ironically defensive coordinator at Ohio State, or current Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi. Instead he went with Ash. There is much rumor and innuendo as to why he hired Ash, but that is left for the Monday morning qb’s to ponder.
There is a larger question. Should Ash be fired at the end of this season? Of course, this would all be mooted out if he goes on to beat lowly Buffalo and Illinois and one of Maryland or Northwestern, but that is not going to happen. As a matter of fact, Rutgers is destined to be a home underdog to Buffalo next Saturday at home. And they will lose if they play with the same low level of energy and effort as they did today in Lawrence.Rutgers entered the Kansas game with more talent than the home team, but that was not reflective of the score.
Rutgers is now 1-2. They beat Texas State 35-7 on September 1, but had to pay the losing team 1.5 million to make the trek to Piscataway.
A generous Rutgers alum just gave 4 million dollars to enhance the weight room.
The game was not lost in the weight room. That money, with the permission of the donor, should go the a buyout of Ash at season’s end.
Rutgers will easily lose well more than 10 million in ticket, parking and concession revenue over the next 4 seasons if Ash remains on as head coach and continues his losing ways.
It is certain that the announced attendance at the Buffalo game will be upwards of 35000, but no more than 20000 fans will dot the seats at High Point Solutions Stadium.
The good news? The basketball season starts in 48 days. And in Steve Pikiell, Rutgers has a big-time leader and tireless worker at the helm.