Next in our series of articles for the Maryland Terrapins fan is to visit the other Big Ten newcomer: Rutgers University. The Scarlet Knights, along with Penn State, will be the closest of the Terps new opponents and is considered to be the “Birthplace of College Football.” The school was one of the first in the nation to have intercollegiate sports. Their nickname comes from their official color, which is scarlet red. The “Knights” portion of the name was tacked onto the color in 1955, displacing the previous unpopular Chanticleer name. The most famous alumni is Mr. Magoo, who was of the class of 1928……
Rutgers is located in six towns around New Brunswick, about 25 miles southwest of New York City. NFL support in the area is generally for the Giants, with a few Jets and Eagles fans around. The New York Yankees are the dominant baseball team. The Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball play about 15 minutes east of campus and have had some very good success with attendance and on the field.
Although Rutgers has that great history in intercollegiate sports, it has lacked great success in recent years. Men’s soccer, baseball, and women’s basketball has had some decent years, with football doing well under former coach Greg Schiano. The Schiano years featured a running back you may have heard of named Ray Rice. Kyle Flood took over the team after Schiano left for the NFL and they still look like they are a bowl contender every year, albeit lesser ones.
The men’s basketball team had issues under Mike Rice Jr. who was eventually fired for verbal and physical abuse of players. Former NBA head coach Eddie Jordan fronts the program now and they don’t look to be a contender anytime soon.
The area around Rutgers is a good one for ethnic food, with a good bit of diversity to be found. Taqueria-El-Poblano Mexican Restaurant serves up a great tacos al pastor while Efes Restaurant is a good Turkish restaurant. If you are not in the mood for ethnic food, check out Stuff Yer Face for strombolis and a good beer selection. Harvest Moon Brewery is a nice brewpub near campus.