Rutgers’ 2022 season ends next weekend.
The Scarlet Knights (4-7, 1-7) are no longer able to qualify for the Bowl along the traditional six-win route after their loss to No. 11 Penn State on Saturday, and the math last weekend’s regular Entering the season doesn’t let up on hopes of earning a miracle bowl bid next Saturday with a win over Maryland (6-5, 3-5) to 5-7, either.
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There are 75 bowl-eligible teams occupying 82 bowl courts at the end of week 12, leaving seven spots for the final weekend of the season. There are 15 teams that currently hold a 5-6 record and are just one win away from receiving a bid, and at least one of them is guaranteed in a head-to-head between 5-6 Ball State and 5- occupied. 6 Miami of Ohio on Tuesday.
This leaves six slots that can be grabbed by 13 teams. But even if the miracle happens – all of those 5-6 teams lose this week while Rutgers beat Maryland to go 5-7 – the Scarlet Knights rank too low in the latest APR rankings to compete.
The Scarlet Knights’ 977 APR score from the 2020-21 academic year — the latest available data that would be used in this process — ranks behind six current five-win teams: Rice (994), Michigan State (983), Auburn (983 ), Missouri (983), Miami (982) and Georgia Tech (979). That fills every open slot and leaves Rutgers no chance.
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The 2022 season will be the ninth straight season in which Rutgers does not receive a bowl bid in the traditional manner. The Scarlet Knights’ final six-win season came in 2014, their first as a member of the Big Ten, which ended in a win over North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl. They played in the Gator Bowl last winter, but that was the result of their APR score, which led the pack when the game needed a replacement after Texas A&M was out due to COVID concerns.
Rutgers is 25-67 in regular-season games as of this last season with six wins. It entered the final week of the regular season last winter with a chance to win a bowl bid but was crushed by Maryland in Piscataway. Even if the Scarlet Knights avenge that loss this Saturday, they’ll still be spending this bowl season at home.
Head coach Greg Schiano believes the drought and program troubles won’t last long, saying the Scarlet Knights will “make it” after his team’s loss to the Nittany Lions on Saturday.
“And I promise them and I promise our fans that we will make it,” said Schiano. “As long as we don’t tire of doing good, we’ll make it. I just can’t get tired and say, ‘Oh, I can’t do this.’ We can do it. Rutger can do it. New Jersey can do it. We can do it. We just have to keep plowing forward. And I promise you we will.”
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Brian Fonseca can be reached at [email protected].