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Maryland and Rutgers moving to Big Ten

The University of Maryland will be leaving 40-plus years of tradition and rivalries in the ACC to join the Big Ten.

Once all of this conference realignment seemed to have finally settled everything got seriously shaken up again when Maryland and Rutgers became the latest programs to make a move, both bolting to the Big Ten.

Maryland, a founding member of the ACC, has thrown 40-plus years of tradition out the window with the move. No more will there be Maryland-Duke or Maryland-UNC on a regular basis in college basketball but the Terrapins won’t at all mind because their program has been in complete financial disarray and mostly because their football team find the stands at Byrd Stadium empty more often than not.

Football runs everything in college sports right now and Maryland has really struggled to bring in a college football nation together in a college basketball area. But by moving to the Big Ten they get into a much better football conference and become a major contributor to the Big Ten network with the Baltimore-Washington media market behind them and that means: dollars, dollars, dollars.

Things got so bad financially for Maryland that they were forced to cut eight teams last summer just to save their athletic department but now, they have been bailed out.

Even if Maryland fans don’t go to football games fans of Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa all travel incredibly well and there should be little problem selling seats. As for basketball, it is a hoops crazy school anyway but even without teams like Duke or North Carolina coming to town the Big Ten is one of the best college basketball conferences the past few years and right now Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State are all ranked in the top five. Yes, three Big Ten teams are ranked in the top five.

It is an upgrade, but an upgrade that purists won’t like.

Rutgers is in a similar but slightly different boat. Rutgers, expected to accept their invitation to the Big Ten tomorrow, has been a member of the Big East since 1991 and while other than a few moment here and their they have not had any true big moment of in the Big East. A few years ago Ray Rice and Greg Schiano were leading the Scarlet Knights to success but other than that a severe lack of success cost them six programs in the beginning of the 2007-2008 academic year.

But even despite little more than mediocre success in the Big East Rutgers was a very highly sought after program for the Big Ten for one reason and one reason only: the New York market.

Already with major media markets like Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia the additions of Maryland and Rutgers gives the Big Ten and their network major access to the Baltimore-Washington and New York markets, respectively, to markets more valuable than any of the ones they already were a part in.

These moves are mutually beneficial and all about money. Both Maryland and Rutgers were struggling financially but get huge financial support in the Big Ten while the Big Ten gets to grow their national foot print and they add two programs with ability to grow their programs in the right environment. Maryland has quickly rebuilt their basketball program that has been struggling lately and even in the Big Ten they should be better while Rutgers should start getting more of their top-level New York talent because of the conference they are in.

As for football, this move will only be beneficial. The ACC and Big East have been really slipping down the ladder of respectability lately but there is no question that the Big Ten is a major football conference right up there with the best in the NCAA and purely being in a conference of that caliber better players will go and the environments will grow.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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