Rutgers is going to a bowl game, and not everyone’s happy
After a disappointing end to a once-promising season, Rutgers was given new life when the Gator Bowl was in need of a replacement. You might think people would be happy about that, but, to a great extent, you'd be wrong.
If you haven't been paying attention, the Gator Bowl, a game with a national TV audience on Dec. 31, found itself in need of a replacement team after the participant from the big, bad SEC, Texas A&M, had to drop out. A combination of COVID and opt-outs left the Aggies with only a reported 39 players eligible to play against the ACC's Wake Forest (10-3).
Typically, a school needs at least six wins to qualify for a bowl, but all the six-win teams already had dance partners. Rutgers is in the next tier down at five wins, but was selected over schools with similar records at least in part because Rutgers' student-athletes performed better in the classroom. So, everybody's happy, right? Not by a long shot.
First, there are esteemed newspaper columnists, like Steve Politi of New Jersey Advance Media, who think it's a bad idea for a number of reasons, including the lack of preparation time and that, at 5-7, they don't deserve it.
Stephen Edelson of the Asbury Park Press similarly feels that the Rutgers team, that could have earned a bowl bid if they hadn't gotten blown out at home by Maryland in their final game, should pass on the Gator Bowl.
Then, there's the Twitterverse, which was unsurprisingly brutal:
There are the people who believe Rutgers has no chance against the 10-3 Demon Deacons.
And there are those who believe Rutgers shouldn't be there in the first place-
Even NBC News had to take a pot shot when announcing the move:
The reaction couldn't have been all bad, right?
Of course, there were some people who were pleased at the news:
I say that this is a team that not that long ago had a 21 game losing streak in the Big Ten and part of the reason they got this bid was because of academic excellence, so let's enjoy the gift and hope for the best.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.
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