It looks like the Big Ten will soon be the Big 14.
I was happy when Nebraska came on board to the Big Ten. It strengthen the conference, gave us a nice, even 12 members, a football conference title game, and at least made sense. Now it appears that Maryland and Rutgers are on their way, giving the league an overstuffed feeling at 14 members in a blatant grab for the East Coast media markets.
This is a horrible move.
As the original conference of college sports, the Big Ten has talked endlessly about tradition and the relationship between its schools. Now it is adding schools for the sake of adding schools. In the big money sports Rutgers is respectable after decades of doing nothing in football and hasn't made an NCAA Tournament in basketball in 21 years. At least Maryland did us all a favor and personally prevented banner No. 6 in Bloomington back in 2002. In football they have worse quarterback injury luck than Purdue.
Essentially, the Big Ten is hoping Rutgers can bring in a New York market that really doesn't exist for college sports and a D.C.-area market that takes away one of the ACC's worst football teams and a basketball team that is relatively up and down, but does at least have a more recent National Championship than the Big Ten does now.
I know the words "watered down" are thrown around a lot, but seriously? This is the best you can do, Big Ten? It looks like it is really happening, too:
The Big Ten could add charter members from the ACC and Big East this week, with Maryland regents voting unanimously on Monday to enter the Big Ten, according to Brett McMurphy (they're reportedly expected to announce at 3 p.m. ET, according to 247 Sports). If they go, Rutgers likely goes as well. (This is not a drill.)
I'll have more on it this afternoon after I finish up the day job work, but consider this place to comment/bitch about the move.