The first half of the college football season was very rough on Rutgers football. And yet, in both the literal and the football sense, winter is coming for the Scarlet Knights.
RU got Ohio State out of the way. However, the Scarlet Knights still have dates with Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State on the schedule. The Badgers and Spartans games are on the road.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Rutgers has a 9.6-percent chance to win against Northwestern. That is the only game in which FPI calculates that the Scarlet Knights have a better than 2.4-percent chance to win.
ESPN ranked the hardest college football schedules over the second half of the season, and Rutgers ranks No. 1.
Chris Ash’s club is 1-6, and FPI projects the team to finish with 1.2 wins… so it is very unlikely that RU picks up another victory this season.
Interestingly, only one other team in the Top 10 hardest schedules currently has a losing record: the 2-4 Kansas Jayhawks.
Only one team is even a fringe College Football Playoff contender at this point, though it is West Virginia which just lost at Iowa State. The Mountaineers would need to win out, capture a conference championship, and get some help from the rest of the country.
FPI gives WVU a 1.7-percent chance to do just that, which is not super optimistic, but is still the highest percentage among the Top 10.
Here’s the full list, via ESPN:
The toughest schedule for a real contender is also in the Big Ten East. Ohio State’s schedule is ranked 12th, and FPI gives the Buckeyes a 28.7-percent chance to win out. The team’s projected win-loss record is 11.6-1.