Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Maryland and Rutgers do fit the Big Ten. This is why

Maryland adds market size, basketball tradition to Big Ten
In the past, when the Big Ten expanded, it was about adding elite programs to the stable.
Penn State and Nebraska had national championship pedigrees in football.Market-size was a secondary issue.
There isn't nearly as much "wow" appeal with Maryland and Rutgers athletically.
Rutgers, in particular, raises eyebrows and questions about whether the Big Ten is dropping its standards. Maryland has an excellent basketball tradition. It would be the most recent team in the Big Ten to win the NCAA tournament. Rutgers presents little in that regard, and figures to field second-division teams in both revenue producing sports perpetually.
But this isn't about sports, nor academics (both schools are solid in that regard), as much as demographics, and is actually a wise move by the Big Ten.
There is one major college athletic program in the immediate vicinity of New York City: It is Rutgers. New York is not a place where college sports are revered like the Midwest, but the nation's No.1 media market by far is a good thing to be a part of (the campus is a 50-minute drive to New York City) in an era Super Conferences are inevitable. Maryland is located within 30-minute drive to Washington D.C. and is 40 minutes to Baltimore. Combined, those two media markets are roughly the size of Chicago's, which is the largest media market currently in the Big Ten.
It allows the Big Ten more juice when negotiating with major networks, and will help grow its own Big Ten Network.


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