It wasn’t more than six years ago when Rutgers found themselves in a position like this. The Scarlet Knights, currently 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the Big East, are in control of their own destiny. They’ll play at Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1) on Saturday at noon. What’s at stake? A shot at a BCS game. Rutgers had a chance in 2006, but fell to West Virginia, 41-39 in a three-overtime thriller.
That was the last time Rutgers came close to sniffing a BCS bowl. It’s also worth noting that Rutgers fell at Cincinnati, 30-11, two weeks before the loss to West Virginia that season. Boy does this sound like a familiar theme.
To most, the loss to West Virginia in 2006 feels like it happened a life time ago. To the Scarlet Knights faithful, however, you can bet they still feel the pain of that loss. Cincinnati is favored by six points. That’s a big line for teams that have played relatively the same type of season, which would make may think that Rutgers is lacking in some area. We’re not so sure about that. The Scarlet Knights are ranked 14th in total defense and fifth overall in scoring defense.
So will Rutgers get over this hump? We think they can. But even if they do, there is still the matter of Louisville. Rutgers plays the Cardinals in the final game of the regular season. Louisville has already beaten Cincinnati, which means if the Scarlet Knights win out, they get the BCS nod.
But it's important not to get too far ahead of things, because we’ve been down this road before.