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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

COLUMN: Why Maryland And Rutgers Joining The Big Ten Hurts The Conference



Good or bad, money is the root of all decisions in this game of life we live in.
In this case, Maryland and Rutgers joining in the Big Ten this past Tuesday might make the league plenty of dollars, but it sure doesn’t make sense.
I have no issue with the Big Ten expanding its territory to the east coast since every other conference is doing it, but at what lengths are they willing to fail?
I don’t see Maryland and Rutgers making the short-term impact like Texas A&M and Missouri did for the SEC back in 2012.
Both teams were established Big 12 members as Texas A&M played in the 1998 Sugar Bowl and in the 2005 and 2011 Cotton Bowls, while Missouri experienced success winning the 2008 Cotton Bowl.
Maryland and Rutgers were middle of the road teams at best in its respective conferences (ACC and the Big East/American Athletic Conference).
In the last ten seasons, the Terrapins went 57-66 with one ten-win season (2003), while the Scarlet Knights have gone 75-51— which lacks quality wins for the most part.
Rutgers’ bowl invites reflected the record as it did not play in a major bowl game in that stretch.
The latest moves have put the Big Ten in the same position as the post-Miami Big East of power conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Big Ten has not fared well against non-conference foes in bowl play. The post-season matchups against the SEC are where they have had the least success.
In the last four bowl seasons, the SEC has held a 9-4 advantage over the Big Ten.
With Maryland and Rutgers coming in, it will hurt the image of the Big Ten in the short term.
Who cares if the alumni base of the conference has grown, the bottom line is the results on the gridiron— where many members of the media, including myself will judge the final product at days’ end.
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