After months of speculations that many conference were on their way to a massive expansion and many teams were getting ready to move into different conferences, nothing speculated that University of Maryland would be moving anywhere, in fact everything speculated that they would be at the center of the new expanded ACC that would stretch from Florida to Connecticut. But bleacherreport.com reported yesterday that a “source” said Maryland, along with Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Syracuse, could be headed to the Big Ten, though nothing has been confirmed by Big Ten officials or Athletic Directors of any of the mentioned schools.
Everybody knows that an expansion is coming, but so far the Big Ten has denied every report released. I’m not going to believe that all of these reports from around the country from nearly every media source, including ESPN. This is not the first time Maryland’s name has been mentioned in the conversation of the Big Ten expansion as ESPN basketball analyst Andy Katz toyed with the idea before. But this is definitely the first time that it has been brought up this seriously.
I could understand the draw for Maryland to go into the Big Ten, they’re basically guaranteed roughly $6.5 million a year just from the Big Ten Network. It also puts them in a much more esteemed conference.
It also makes sense why the Big Ten would want Maryland. By adding Maryland to the Big Ten they can expand their media market into the Baltimore-Washington Metro Area, which could bring in huge bucks for the conference.
But I’m not exactly sure the Big Ten is the best place for Maryland. Yes they can get a lot of money out of the conference, but purely from an athletic standpoint it just does not really make sense.
The Big Ten is hands down a football conference that happens to be good at basketball. The ACC is a great basketball conference that is average at best at football. Maryland football has barely contended in what may be one of the worst BCS conferences right now. By moving into the Big Ten that would just set the football team back even further. In basketball the team has tremendous rivalries with Duke and North Carolina that guarantee them at least two games a year on ESPN. But a move would likely kill those rivalries, which could only be kept alive with less meaningful non-conference games.
That soccer team that has won two National Championships in five years, they would move out of the nations top conference that boasted four of the top five schools into a conference that is still very good, but not nearly as dominating as the ACC.
Also, what about their lacrosse team? Currently Ohio State is the only team in the Big Ten that has a lacrosse team, though Syracuse and Rutgers could both bring team in.
Financially Maryland and the Big Ten go together well, but athletically I’m not so sure. But then again, everything is about money anyway.