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September 25, 2009

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DJSpanky

You said: "The Knights' are 2-1 this year, with their wins over footwipes Florida International and I-AA Howard. For some bizarre reason, they play another I-AA team next week in Texas Southern."

There's no bizarre reason involved: Over the past two years, Rutgers had two opponents for 2010 back out of their games: Buffalo and Navy. They had to scramble at the last minute to line up home games (more on that later) for this year, and, unfortunately, the best they could do was 1A FIU and 1AA Texas Southern. Plans to play one 1AA game at home have been in place for about 5-6 years, so Howard was the team that fit that bill.

Now, why home games? We turned down a cool $1 million to play away at Ole Miss this year. However, we just went through a political firestorm with the expansion of our stadium (and NJ politics are dirty), which resulted in the AD who architected RU's rise being bounced. Part of the fallout from that is that RU has to play a minimum of 7 home games a year to justify the cost of the expansion. With the BE only having 8 teams, that means that every other year RU has to schedule 4 OOC home games, which makes scheduling home-and-home series with 1A teams very difficult and usually not an option. Hence the paycheck games like Howard and TSU. The new AD is working very hard at getting future series lined up so that this won't happen again, but this year it was just unavoidable.

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