Rutgers doesn’t have a Big Ten rival yet, with head coach Greg Schiano saying that some of that is due to the newness of the Scarlet Knights in the conference. It also has something to do with the fact that the football program simply hasn’t arrived yet.
Having joined the Big Ten in 2014, it is clear that Rutgers football is still adjusting to life in one of the toughest conferences in the sport. Those struggles are very much part of the reason why there is not yet a true rivalry in the Big Ten for Rutgers.
That could be changing, albeit slowly as the last two weeks of the regular season represent the best chance for Rutgers to develop rivalries within the Big Ten. Penn State, last week’s opponent, and now Maryland, are the two programs that are closest geographically to Rutgers.
And both programs have played each other over the years due to this proximity.
There are even further ties as all three programs recruit the same areas even down to the same high schools.
On Monday, Schiano was asked about a rivalry with Maryland. He told reporters that the program isn’t there yet.
“Do I consider them a rival? We haven’t had — we’ve had some good games, you know. We won one; they won one. So I think it could become one,” Schiano said.
“I don’t think we have enough history yet for it to become a rivalry. Again, I always say this; that has to happen organically. There’s got to be recruiting battles. There’s got to be games, you know, back and forth and that kind of happens over time. We just haven’t been in this league long enough and quite honestly two things. We haven’t been in the league long enough and we haven’t been good enough to make that happen. That will happen over time.”
It will take Rutgers some time to catch up to Maryland let alone Penn State. But if Rutgers can become truly competitive against Penn State and continue to represent well against Maryland, then a very interesting dynamic could form in the Northeast.