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Minnesota Football: Rutgers is the zebra mussel of the Big Ten

Everyone make sure to clean off their keyboard after each visit to the comments this week.

Rutgers attaches itself to the B1G.
Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

It’s finally that time. The time I have dreaded for months. The moment which I would only talk about in hushed tones with the other writers of TDG on our Slack chats. I tried to pretend it wasn’t coming, tried to put off the inevitable. But the inevitable is here and it’s time to face it.


You are probably confused. I can already hear your questions.

“Why would you dread Rutgers week?”

“Rutgers is terrible, this is a great week!”

“What is this Rutgers you speak of?”

“I thought it was pronounced Buttgers?”

I dreaded this week for one simple reason. Rutgers fans.

Rutgers fans are the zebra mussels of the B1G. Just like zebra mussels, Rutgers fans are not native to the Big Ten. They are an invasive species and are extremely painful to run into, especially when they are blathering on about everyone in the Big Ten fearing what they’ll soon become.

Speaking of which...

The bottom line is that we're a big fat target. Do you think that Minnesota gets this kind of grief? Purdue? Northwestern?

No, because they don't with confidence say that we're the next great football dynasty. When you have ambitions like ours, when you have resources like ours, when you have a bright future like ours, people love to knock you down.

Oh good, I can see where this is going.

Still, you don't deserve this Rutgers fans, Rutgers players, and Rutgers coaches. You don't deserve this level of vitriol after playing the hardest schedule in the nation during a rebuilding year after losing your most dynamic playmaker while migrating schemes on both sides of the ball and breaking in a new staff after enduring years of scandals and suspensions.

NOTE: I looked at their schedule. It’s essentially the same as Minnesota’s schedule last season. Do you know what Minnesota didn’t do? Minnesota didn’t do this.

But I’m sure this post will get better.

The Big Ten conference was supposed to be one of collegial sportsmanship; a place where gentleman and gentlewomen compete "The Right Way" and pair excellent academic achievement with cordial gamesmanship. This is not the Big Ten that we've seen the past few weeks and I know that comes as a disappointment of many of us.

No better way to show you don’t understand the conference you’ve joined than to pretend this is some new insult. Where do they think Harbaugh learned how to do this? Does no one in New Jersey know how to Google The Ten Year War?

Don’t head to the comments to lament our new kinship with these folks yet Gopher fans because we haven’t gotten to the whoppers yet.

Remember these days, Rutgers fans, because they aren't going to last forever.

In the macro view, our rise to prominence is an inevitability.

Look to the arc of Rutgers football history. From the early days of the sport, to small school ball, to the Big East to the Big Ten, our march has big one of steady progress.

No school has access to the NYC media empire like we do. No Power 5 school has a talent rich state to themselves. No schools at any level can tap into the passion and depth of New Jersey football fans like Rutgers can.

Don't let the haters get you down. The fact of the matter is that the reason why publications write dig articles about Rutgers is that it drives impressions; it makes noise. Yes, I see the metrics on our site. The big hitters the past few days have been Rutgers hate pieces.

What does that say about our position in the league? Does it say that we're irrelevant? Does it say that we‘re an afterthought? Does it say that we don't belong?

No, it proves why Rutgers is a cornerstone of the Big Ten now and in the future.

/pauses while TDG’s readers spit water on their keyboards

/waits for the laughter to subside

/keeps waiting



/continues waiting because somewhere DK5 is still giggling

I’m not even going to bother. Every non Rutgers fan who read that knows why it’s ridiculous. This is what you’re in for now. This is what Delany has brought us in return for Scrooge McDuck swimming pools.

Get ready everyone. Welcome to Invasive Species Rutgers Week.