(WTNH)–As we sit and wait for university presidents to decide if the University of Connecticut can help an athletic conference based in the American Southwest make even more ungodly amounts of money, something else has been on our minds lately.
Sometimes, things happen in life that you just can’t comprehend, and even years later you think back and wonder, “What the heck was that all about? Why would that ever have happened?”
Sometimes, those things make you mad—mad enough to write a SportzEdge column about them. (Editor’s Note: If you have something to get off of your chest, sign up and become a contributor to SportzEdge today! SportzEdge.com: Your Sports, Your Voice).
Maybe this comes from the inane tweet Rutgers sent out a couple of weeks ago, highlighting the accomplishments of UConn stars.
Maybe it’s just frustration that UConn finds itself in this precarious position, waiting for a bunch of schools from Texas and Oklahoma to decide if it’s worthy of inclusion to their money-printing athletic conglomerate.
Either way, the question is just as valid:
Why did the Big Ten take Rutgers instead of UConn?
The original argument was that Rutgers brings the Big Ten the New York City market, but that’s maybe the most ridiculous statement ever uttered during conference realignment.
Rutgers brings the New York City market the same way Taco Bell brings you quality Mexican cuisine.
Sure, there are some alums in NYC, and sure, some of them like watching their perennially 4-8 football team play on television, but I’m willing to bet that just as many UConn fans (if not more) pack NYC bars to watch games each week.
Anyone who’s ever been to Madison Square Garden during the Big East tournament knows that UConn has an infinitely bigger presence there. UConn fans took the place over during the 2014 NCAA Tournament, when the Huskies sent everyone’s national championship pick, Michigan State, home.
They packed the place during every Big East tournament game, something Rutgers fans never did, mainly because Rutgers rarely made the Big East tournament.
I know this whole thing is all about television money, but UConn games are televised on SNY (SportsNet New York), not Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights’ football program is among the worst in the sport’s history, and yet has somehow still had more success than its men’s basketball program. If you were to realign conferences based solely on performance, Rutgers would probably fit best in the MAAC. Or the NEC. And yet there they are, getting steamrolled by Michigan in the Big House, and welcoming in Ohio State to kick the living crap out of them.
Say what you want about UConn football, but it has accomplished more in its 14 years of existence in Division 1-A than Rutgers has in its 142-year history. UConn has been to a BCS bowl game, Rutgers has not. The Huskies have beaten Notre Dame, the Scarlet Knights have not. UConn captured two Big East titles in 10 years in the league, Rutgers won one title in 21 years.
Piscataway might have been the birthplace of college football, but tragically, the mother passed away during birth. Rutgers has been awful forever, and as long as they’re competing in the Big Ten, it’ll probably stay that way.
So, if UConn doesn’t end up getting an invite to the Big 12, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany should swallow his pride, and throw the Huskies a bone.
Kick out Rutgers.
Don’t overthink it this time.
Your men’s basketball, football, women’s basketball, field hockey, baseball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s ice hockey, track and field and tennis programs will thank you.