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The Morning After: UConn Takes Out The Trash

In their last meeting as conference rivals, UConn kicks Rutgers to the curb.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Later Rutgers.

See you never.

Yesterday was the final time that UConn and Rutgers meet on the gridiron as conference rivals, ending the rivalry that was always supposed to be but never actually was.

It was a rivalry that always looked good on paper, because Rutgers was one of the few decent football playing schools within reasonable driving distance of UConn, but if we're being honest, The Day columnist Mike DiMauro was absolutely right when he described the rivalry as a "contrivance" that nobody actually cared about.

Seriously, are any of you guys actually going to miss playing Rutgers? The same Rutgers that epitomized football futility for a better part of a century before they finally broke through, became incredibly overrated and consistently failed to win the big one despite having an inexplicable number of future NFL players on their roster?

You'll notice that nobody ever argues that UConn and Rutgers are rivals in basketball, and there's a reason for that. They are terrible. Rutgers was a bottom feeder in the old Big East basketball conference for years, and next year when they shuffle off into the warm embrace of the Big Ten, they're going to take a familiar position in that conference when they become the new whipping boy for Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and the like week in and week out.

But at least they'll be flush with cash, right?

Good for them, because if UConn were in Rutgers position right now, I'd be thrilled. Despite having never accomplished anything worth a damn and having an athletics department run by maniacs, the school somehow managed to find a lifeboat out of the sinking ship that was the Big East.

But unlike the others, I don't have any feelings of disappointment now that they're gone.

Syracuse? Pitt? Those rivalries were fun and they meant something. Louisville? That wound up becoming a pretty good one by the end too. Georgetown? Villanova? St. John's? The rest of the Catholic Seven? Same thing, they may not have always had the same intensity, but we had real history and a lot of great memories.


When have UConn and Rutgers played a game that anyone really remembers? I can think of exactly one. In 2009, on Halloween, a couple of weeks after Jasper Howard was murdered, UConn and Rutgers met in the team's first home game since the tragedy. Howard's No. 6 filled the stadium, and the electricty and emotion in the stadium was palpable.

UConn wound up taking a late lead on a last minute touchdown, but just when it seemed like the Huskies had it won, Rutgers scored on an 81-yard touchdown play, and the game basically became a funeral. That one hurt so badly I wanted to throw up, but did the fact that it was Rutgers make it any worse? No. Swap in any other random team in college football and it wouldn't have changed anything.

I could go on and on, but I don't think anything I can say could top the epic rant delivered on Twitter yesterday by The UConn Blog's former editor Andrew Porter (@NoEscalators), who delivered one of his finest performances after the conclusion of yesterday's game.