Rivalry with Rutgers should remain, regardless of conference realignment
After hearing that Rutgers will be leaving the Big East Conference to join the Big Ten Conference, I find myself asking one question: “What about the rivalry?”
Should the rivalry continue, and hopefully it does, the move can only make it stronger.
Rutgers and Seton Hall first met almost a century ago, with the Scarlet Knights taking a 41-20 victory on Feb. 4, 1916. Seton Hall holds the all-time edge 35-27, but recently the games against Rutgers have been more like fights.
In the last 10 games, all but one was decided by less than six points. Two contests were decided in overtime, including a game in the Big East Championship where Jeremy Hazell drained a 3-pointer from two feet beyond NBA range to force overtime. The Pirates ended up losing, but that play was SportsCenter’s No. 1 play for the day.
The rivalry hit its highest last year for fans on the Pirates’ senior day. Coming off an upset win over No. 8 Georgetown, the Pirates had a chance to seal their NCAA tournament bid with a win.
The Scarlet Knights would have none of it, and spoiled the Pirates’ hopes of a tournament appearance.
Losing this rivalry would be a shame. Just the way fans get into it, is enough to not let it go. Seton Hall’s Student Alumni Association hosts a Bounce N Trounce, where the student body bounces a basketball for 24 hours before the Pirates’ home game against the Scarlet Knights.
There is no other team that fans hate as much as Rutgers.
Having one game once a year against the Scarlet Knights makes the matchup more meaningful. If you lose, you have to wait 365 days to play the team again. Fans and players would buy into the rivalry.
Plus, with the once-a-year game there can be a name to it, much like in college football. There’s “The Iron Bowl” between Alabama and Auburn, “The Civil War” between Oregon and Oregon State and “The Sunflower Showdown” between Kansas and Kansas State just to name a few.
I am going to make no guess as to what the game’s name should be because I’m not that creative, but this is just another positive for the game.
The worst part of this situation is the continuation of schools changing conferences for football reasons. The Big Ten now will have 14 teams and the Big 12 has 10 teams. I feel that teams and conferences forget how big college basketball is.
But that’s another issue for another day, back to basketball.
Jerry Carino said on NJHoopsHaven.com on Monday afternoon that the rivalry is likely to continue after Rutgers makes the switch to the Big Ten.
Now there are other teams from New Jersey that the Pirates play, like NJIT or Saint Peter’s University, but none of these contests has the same flare that the one against Rutgers has.
According to a poll on nj.com almost 89 percent, of those who voted, with the move that Rutgers made in joining the Big Ten.
Let’s say Seton Hall changes conferences. This would not change my opinion at all. This is a real rivalry that was not determined by conference, but by geography. To see something almost 100 years old be ruined by greed of conferences would make me sick.
T.J. Brennan is a junior journalism major from Long Island, N.Y. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org