The Big 10 expanding to include athletic powerhouses Maryland and Rutgers makes very little sense. If there’s one thing Big 10 football needs, a conference for which no single person outside the Midwest has actually watched an entire game this year, it’s 2 exceptionally mediocre programs in places that don’t care about football. I was pretty whatever about the Pac-10 adding Colorado and Utah but at least those programs have been really good in living memory. Maryland had like 2 good years in the last 30 and Rutgers is technically “good” this year playing in a joke of a conference and having lost to Kent St.
If you were dying to see Purdue play at Maryland or Rutgers to visit Minnesota, you are in for a treat!!!
And OK, I picked some mediocrity of the conference there. But Michigan-Rutgers? Who cares?
The idea of course is to add big media markets. There’s an obvious problem with that. No one in the New York area cares about Rutgers. Are people really going to pay more in their cable package for the Big 10 Network? I am highly skeptical. The Northeast is hard core professional sports country. Even as Rutgers is having a good season, does anyone in New York or New Jersey actually care? The amount of conversations I’ve heard about UConn or Boston College sports since I’ve lived in Rhode Island add up to 0. Maryland I know less about. Except that they are terrible. And you can’t just build college sports support out of nothing. It is a decades long process.
It’s hardly better in basketball. Rutgers is a non-entity. Maryland has declined significantly since their national championship a decade ago.
Seriously, all the Big 10 did was make their product even less appealing. Who knew that was even possible?