Biggs Barker is a convicted cyber-criminal and former domestic wiretapper who also happens to be an enormous Razorbacks fan. He also likes to smile. He's been kind enough to take a break from his day job of stealing online credit card data to dig up some dirt on behalf of the Hogs. Enjoy his findings, but be sure to keep your computer passwords far away from his prying eyes.
Team: Rutgers University
Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Mascot: Scarlet Knights
Conference: Big East
2011 Record: 9-4 (4-3)
2012 Record: 3-0 (1-0) (The 4th undefeated team Arkansas has faced this year)
How you know them: The 2006 Rutgers Scarlet Knights were part of the Triad of good Big East teams in 2006. It was in Greg Schiano's 5th year at Rutgers in 2005 that they achieved a winning record, and in 2006 when they and their Big East brethren made a big splash in college football as they placed three teams in the top 25 and made believers out of all the doubters. Of course since then, Rutgers has posted 4 8+ winning seasons and one 4-8 season, but most Arkansas fans will remember the Rutgers story stealing headlines from the SEC West Champion Arkansas Razorbacks.
Birth: When you turn in to watch college football on a Thursday night and someone happens to be in Piscataway, NJ playing a Big East heavy weight slugfest, you may see a sign in the endzone or on the sideline that reads "Birthplace of College Football". It's true. The first intercollegiate football game took place in 1869 when a team from Princeton visited the Rutgers campus and played a rugby style football game that would barely be recognizable as a football game by today's standards. Rutgers prevailed and won 6-4 in that game, however they lost 8-0 on the return trip to Princeton that season leaving them at 1-1 for the season. They've barely done better over the past 142 years as their all-time record is 623-606-42 leaving them just a smidge over .500.
Man vs. Food: While the game being played on the field is Man vs. Man, Rutgers has a claim to fame from Man vs. Food. On a season two episode of Man vs. Food, Adam Richman took on a challenge known as the Fat Sandwich Challenge at R.U. Hungry? This consisted of eating 5 stuffed sandwiches in 45 minutes or less, and Rutgers University scored two victories that weekend with a 42-0 homecoming win over Texas Southern in football and defeating Adam Richman by 1/2 a sandwich.
Strength: Umm Defense I guess? You don't have to look far to see that Rutgers has had a very Stingy defense allowing 12, 0 and 13 points in their first three games. That goes with 250 ypg and 59 rushing ypg. That's VERY impressive even if the opponents were Tulane, Howard, and South Florida. The Big East Blog at ESPN.com has been calling them "Championship Caliber"
Weakness: Penalties. A lot of them coming on Defense actually. While their 3-0 record hasn't been good enough to make it in the top 25 in the coaches poll, they have cemented themselves firmly in the top 25 in total penalties and penalty yardage. During a sequence last Thursday, the South Florida Bulls didn't have to rush or pass the ball for a first down as the Rutgers Defensive line was ruled offsides on two consecutive plays.
Head Coach: Rutgers, like Arkansas, is in their first season of a new head coach, and while the Razorbacks are sometimes screaming for the head of John L Smith, Rutgers fans are pretty satisfied with the former Offensive line coach turned to head coach. Many people watching the Rutgers football program didn't know how this team would react as their long time and one of the winningest coaches in in Rutgers history had left for the NFL, but coach Flood (who started at Rutgers during the "miracle" 11-2 season in 2006) credits the smooth transition as part of the success he's experienced in the first three games of the season.
New Opponent: Arkansas is playing another opponent for the first time this season. Rutgers and Arkansas have never met on the football field, but Rutgers is familiar with SEC opponents having gone 5-11-2 (going back to 1922) against the conference including a victory in 2004 in Nashville against Vanderbilt. While college football may have started in 1869 in New Jersey, it definitely starts now in the SEC, and Ends. If Rutgers can notch a win in Fayetteville this weekend, it will put them on a 2-0 streak against SEC opponents.
This has been another Opposition Research segment with Biggs Barker. Biggs doesn't need FOIA requests to dig up the dirt. He'll retire for the rest of the regular season, and begin systematically destroying the credit scores of Louisiana-Monroe QB Kolton Browing, and anyone associated with the Alabama football program. If he manages to escape the long arm of the internet law, you might see him back for a bowl game.