Rutgers and Maryland join the Big Ten?
Both Rutgers and Maryland announced today they will be leaving for the Big Ten in 2014. For Rutgers this is the absolute basics. The program is escaping the pitiful excuse for what was once the Big East and is shipping off the still BCS tied Big Ten. The Big Ten will allow Rutgers to increase revenue and marketing for recruits in all areas. Maryland is a little more of a surprise because the ACC is beyond staple and is welcoming in the Big East turncoats of Syracuse and Pittsburgh come July 2013, so why are the Terps in such a hurry to buck ACC country for the more competitive and geographically unfortunate Big East? Well, Maryland will have better exposure in the Big Ten, a conference which is all over ESPN and other networks. The Big Ten never has to play games on Thursdays and Fridays (proof of how popular the conference is). Every Saturday morning, tune to ESPN for college football at noon and you won’t see ACC teams playing, but two or three Big Ten games. Maryland and Rutgers will also benefit from the recruiting monopoly they have in the eastern seaboard. No other Big Ten team is even located close to the Atlantic Ocean (Penn State is the closest). There are clearly reasons for Maryland and Rutgers to jump conferences…but why would the Big Ten want these two teams?
The Big Ten is making a power play in the world of television. the Big East was watching as the ACC expanded it’s television area to the New York and Pittsburgh areas with Syracuse and Pittsburgh respectively. The Big Ten needed to make a move which could counter this ACC expansion. What better than to steal a team from the ACC and also add a team in the New York area? Rutgers offers inside access to one of the nation’s largest markets with the New Jersey/New York area. Maryland? Maryland brings the Washington D.C. markets into play for the Big Ten. The conferences network (The Big Ten Network….) is not included automatically in most cable packages and is usually purchased by the household. Obviously, most of the demand has come from the midwest because every Big Ten team was located in the midwest. Adding Maryland and Rutgers expands the range of interest in the Big Ten Network and thus offers new exposure and revenue for the conference. It is why adding Rutgers and Maryland, who are somewhat of football cellar dwellers, makes more sense than the geographically stronger and more talented teams. The University of Cincinnati offers absolutely nothing for the Big Ten that Rutgers and Maryland do except for perhaps a stronger program and a small ass stadium. A school like Kansas is another possibility who did not offer the market which Rutgers and Maryland offer. It was a money motivated move by the Big Ten….and aren’t all moves money motivated these days?