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AT THE FOUR FRONT: RUTGERS

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I WASN’T KIDDING, I’M ACTUALLY DOING THIS

Andrew Mills

Welcome back to our comprehensive review of each FBS team that won exactly four games in 2017. As someone helpfully pointed out after last week’s first installment, my preview of Nebraska contained no information looking forward, and was really more of a review, rather than a preview.

We regret the error.

Now, on to an extremely informative and analytics-heavy preview of one of America’s most popular four-win teams, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

WERE THEY BAD IN 2017?

Yes, quite.

HOW MANY GAMES DID THEY WIN?

[sigh] Four.

ANY GOOD WINS?

Yes, one! They beat Purdue. You’ll notice a theme here; fellow four-winner Nebraska also did, despite Purdue having their best season in years. The lesson: never try to understand Purdue.

OKAY, HOW DID THEY DO IN DIVISIONAL PLAY?

They went 2-5, and were outscored by a margin of 255-93.

WOW, THAT’S BAD.

Sorta! But in 2016, those numbers were 0-7 and 312-47.

SO WHAT YOU’RE SAYING IS, THEY WERE VERY BAD, BUT ALSO MUCH-IMPROVED.

That’s correct.

ANY REASON FOR HOPE GOING INTO 2018?

Well, they lost one of their top playmakers, the oft-injured but still-productive Janarion Grant. They don’t have a clear choice at starting QB. Their recruiting still lags far behind most of the conference, and they play Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin on the road.

SO THAT’S A NO?

A soft non-conference slate of Texas State, Kansas and Buffalo? They still get to play Illinois each year? The combination of inexperience and large sample sizes that lead to college football’s inherent unpredictability?

Five wins. I will optimistically slate them for five wins.

RUTGERS WON 33% OF THEIR GAMES IN 2017. PLEASE READ THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THESE FOLLOWING MOVIES THAT HAVE EXACTLY A 33% RATING ON ROTTEN TOMATOES AND DECIDE WHETHER YOU’D RATHER WATCH THEM, OR A 2018 NON-CONFERENCE RUTGERS GAME:

FREEZER (2014)

This movie stars Dylan McDermott as “Robert Saunders, a New York City mechanic knocked unconscious at his birthday dinner and wakes up to find himself locked inside the restaurant’s walk-in freezer. But why he’s there - and how he’ll survive - will reveal a chilling nightmare of mistaken identity, the Russian mob, a missing $8 million, and a wounded cop (Peter Facinelli) who may hold the key it all.”

I’d watch that before Rutgers-Kansas.

WEDDING DAZE (2007)

This Michael Ian Black-directed film stars “Jason Biggs as Anderson, a young man all set to ask his girlfriend to marry him when, during the actual proposal, she dies. After spending a year in a depression, Anderson impulsively asks a waitress named Katie (Ilsa Fisher) to marry him even though they have never met. When she surprisingly agrees, the two must deal with the reactions of their respective friends and families”.

Whoo, these are getting worse, but if it’s this or Rutgers-Buffalo, I’m watching this.

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST (2014)

“Written by and starring Seth MacF-”

I would watch the Rutgers spring game before this.

BOARDING GATE (2008)

“An erotic thriller starring Asia Argento as Sandra, a former prostitute, and Michael Madsen as Miles, her onetime pimp-turned-high-powered businessman. Brought back together after a separation, Sandra and Miles are reunited when Sandra returns to Paris after an extended absence. Despite the fact that neither of the two former lovers are the same people they were back in the day, their kinky sexual relationship is nonetheless rekindled.”

This particular movie has 33% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 19% audience score. Which is to say, the people supposedly tasked with making decisions think it’s better than the actual viewing public does. Where have we seen this before? Where have we seen someone telling us something is more watchable than it is, probably for the wrong reasons?

AP

So there you have it. Rutgers football is scientifically equal to an erotic thriller starring Michael Madsen.