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Would Rutgers accept bowl bid at 5-7? Here’s what Greg Schiano said

NJ.com logo NJ.com 11/27/2021 James Kratch, nj.com
Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral (0) was knocked out of the game by this hit by Maryland defensive lineman Tyler Baylor (10) during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Vedral left the game briefly, but was able to return. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral (0) was knocked out of the game by this hit by Maryland defensive lineman Tyler Baylor (10) during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Vedral left the game briefly, but was able to return.

Rutgers’ bowl dreams are not dead yet.

The crowd in section 135 at the start of the game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media The crowd in section 135 at the start of the game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium.

Rutgers was denied traditional bowl eligibility with a 40-16 loss to Maryland in Saturday’s regular season finale at SHI Stadium in Piscataway. But the Scarlet Knights remain in the hunt for now.

With Maryland leading 33-16 with 11:02 to go in the game, Rutgers quarterback Johnny Langan (42) is stopped by the Terrapins defense on a 4th-and-goal on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Maryland won, 40-16. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media With Maryland leading 33-16 with 11:02 to go in the game, Rutgers quarterback Johnny Langan (42) is stopped by the Terrapins defense on a 4th-and-goal on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Maryland won, 40-16.

There is a good chance there will not be 82 bowl eligible teams (6-6 or better) to fill the 41 bowl games scheduled for this season. There were only 77 guaranteed bowl bids nationally when Rutgers’ loss to the Terrapins ended. When there are not enough six-win teams, bowls with open slots are permitted to invite 5-7 teams based on their NCAA Academic Progress Rate scores.

Rutgers wide receiver Bo Melton (18, left) and defensive back Avery Young (2) leave the field after the Scarlet Knights lost to Maryland, 40-16, on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media Rutgers wide receiver Bo Melton (18, left) and defensive back Avery Young (2) leave the field after the Scarlet Knights lost to Maryland, 40-16, on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium.

The 2019-20 APR data is not currently public; the NCAA is expected to release it next week. But based on scores in past years the Scarlet Knights would likely be near the top of the selection order if there is a need for 5-7 teams to fill bowl slots (Rutgers’ 2018-19 APR was third among 5-6 teams entering this weekend).

Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral (0) lies crumpled on the turf after he was hit as he threw the ball against Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Vedral left the game briefly, but returned in the second quarter. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral (0) lies crumpled on the turf after he was hit as he threw the ball against Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Vedral left the game briefly, but returned in the second quarter.

Say there are available spots and Rutgers gets the call. Would coach Greg Schiano and athletics director Pat Hobbs accept a bid with a losing record?

Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Rakim Jarrett (5) makes a tremendous catch as Rutgers defensive back Robert Longerbeam (7) defends during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Rakim Jarrett (5) makes a tremendous catch as Rutgers defensive back Robert Longerbeam (7) defends during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium.

“I’m not going to deal with conjecture right now,” Schiano said. “I’m going to take care of our players and hit the road recruiting early tomorrow. Just do my job. And if opportunities present themselves, we’ll have to make decisions.”

Rutgers wide receiver Bo Melton (18) follows a block by quarterback Evan Simon (3) against Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Maryland won, 40-16. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media Rutgers wide receiver Bo Melton (18) follows a block by quarterback Evan Simon (3) against Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Maryland won, 40-16.

The Big Ten has allowed members to accept bowl bids at 5-7 in the past, so there would be no league pressure on the Scarlet Knights to pass up an opportunity. Michigan’s upset of Ohio State also increases the chances the conference will put three teams in a New Year’s Six bowl. If so, there would be a partner bowl that would otherwise lack a Big Ten participant — eliminating the possibility Rutgers could get dispatched to some far-flung outpost like Boise or the Bahamas.

Rutgers defensive back Avery Young (2) drags down Maryland running back Colby McDonald (23) after a big gain in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Maryland won, 40-16. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media Rutgers defensive back Avery Young (2) drags down Maryland running back Colby McDonald (23) after a big gain in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Maryland won, 40-16.

“If we get the opportunity, we’ll prepare for it,” defensive end Mike Tverdov said. “Right now, we’re just going to take things day by day and go from there.”

Rutgers offensive lineman Bryan Felter (65) hoists running back Aaron Young (4) in the air after he scored to cut Maryland’s lead to 26-10 during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. The Terrapins won, 40-16. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media Rutgers offensive lineman Bryan Felter (65) hoists running back Aaron Young (4) in the air after he scored to cut Maryland’s lead to 26-10 during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. The Terrapins won, 40-16.

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Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano leaves the field after shaking hands with Maryland head coach Mike Locksley on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Maryland won, 40-16. © Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano leaves the field after shaking hands with Maryland head coach Mike Locksley on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium. Maryland won, 40-16.

James Kratch may be reached at jkratch@njadvancemedia.com.

Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano becomes animated after the game apparently was stopped as Maryland lined up to kick a field goal late in the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium.

Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano becomes animated after the game apparently was stopped as Maryland lined up to kick a field goal late in the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at SHI Stadium.
© Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media
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