Green Room

Rutgers, Maryland Join the “Big Ten”

posted at 4:16 pm on November 20, 2012 by

Let me stipulate right out of the gate that sports-related topics lie beyond Hot Air’s wheelhouse..usually, at least.  But hey, it’s Thanksgiving week in America, and football is inextricably linked to the holiday — so how ’bout some pigskin talk?  (How’s that for a stretch?)  As a Big Ten grad and a huge college sports fan, I’m fascinated by the latest earthquake in the ongoing conference realignment saga:

Rutgers is joining the Big Ten, leaving the Big East behind and cashing in on the school’s investment in a football program that only 10 years ago seemed incapable of competing at the highest level…Rutgers has been competing in the Big East since 1991. But the league has been picked apart by conference realignment, and the Scarlet Knights were looking for a way out…The move follows Maryland’s announcement Monday that it was joining the Big Ten in 2014.

Traditionalists are repelled by these developments, arguing that neither Maryland nor Rutgers fits the geographic profile of a power conference that has been historically rooted in the Midwest.  Other critics lament that the shifting landscape of college athletics has been dominated by an ” it’s all about the money,” mentality.  Case in point: The Big Ten, which will soon boast at least 14 members, is clearly trying to make major inroads in two of the largest media markets in America, namely New York City (#1) and Washington, DC (#9).  If you doubt that’s a (or the) major consideration behind the expansion, read this story about News Corp — parent company of Fox, Fox News, and the Big Ten Network — acquiring a massive stake in the New York Yankees’ YES Network, and connect the cable-subscriber-fee dots yourself.  I have no problem with college sports being run as a lucrative business.  That’s simply a reality.  At the same time, I value the ideal of the student athlete, and the concept of college sports as a competition among amateurs.  Yes, I recognize that these lines are frequently blurred, and unethically so, in too many cases.  From a purely selfish standpoint (setting aside the serious discussion and/or concern trolling about the demise of “pure” intercollegiate athletics), I have to admit that I’m excited that I’ll be able to watch my team play here on the East Coast with greater regularity.  The inevitable re-branding of Rutgers as New York City’s college football team begs a crucial question:  Have these “B1G”  machinations caused iconic NYC resident Allahpundit to catch college football fevah?

A few exit questions™ for those in the gallery who care about these things: (1) Is college football inexorably headed to three our four so-called “super conferences”?  (2) Should college athletes be compensated monetarily for their services, considering that they’re crucial participants in a multi-billion dollar industry?  (3) Where should conservatives fall on these sorts of questions?  On one hand, conservatives tend to value tradition and loyalty.  On the other, we’re capitalists at heart.  Feel free to discuss.  And Go ‘Cats.

 

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(2) Should college athletes be compensated monetarily for their services, considering that they’re crucial participants in a multi-billion dollar industry?

They are compensated already and with escalating college costs, that compensation gets better every year.

(1) Is college football inexorably headed to three our four so-called “super conferences”?

You mean, up, from the current 1? The SEC?

lorien1973 on November 20, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Hey Guy, had to google you to confirm that you indeed not only went to Medill but called some games at Ryan Field. I’m guessing the Basanez era? Awesome. Go ‘Cats.

xuyee on November 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Neither Rutgers or Maryland make much sense at all in the Big 10. I understand it from each school’s perspective (all about the $$$), but not from a conference standpoint. The Big East might as well disband at this point, too, because the ACC will just poach from them to replace the Terps.

changer1701 on November 20, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Just as long as Obama stays out of the Big Ten – I’m happy.

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Just as long as Obama stays out of the Big Ten – I’m happy.

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 4:36 PM

The Big Ten has what, like fourteen now? Sounds like his influence is already there as far as arithmetic is concerned at least.

Maryland leaving is mildly disappointing. With Syracuse headed to the ACC that could have become a good rivalry. Probably why the chicken-arses bolted to begin with…

Gingotts on November 20, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I don’t understand all these people who argue that since Maryland and Rutgers don’t play good football, they don’t belong in the Big Ten. I think not playing good football just means they’ll fit right in with the other Big Ten schools.

radjah shelduck on November 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Seriously? This Golden Gopher is finished with college sports.
What’s next? Alabama-Huntsville joining the WCHA? I can’t take it anymore.

Hat Trick on November 20, 2012 at 4:48 PM

I don’t understand all these people who argue that since Maryland and Rutgers don’t play good football, they don’t belong in the Big Ten. I think not playing good football just means they’ll fit right in with the other Big Ten schools.

radjah shelduck on November 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

You must not be from the upper Midwest. It’s not about good football…it’s pure regional rivalry.

Hat Trick on November 20, 2012 at 4:50 PM

It is all about the money. The Big10 has been pushing for super conference ever since they got their own TV network. Adding two new big markets means big, big money for the conference.

Sucks that my Badgers are only going to get to play Michigan State, which has become a really good conference rivalry, every 2-3 years now.

I bet the volleyball and golf teams from Nebraska and Minnesota are super pumped about having to travel to Maryland for conference matches, though…

BadgerHawk on November 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

xuyee: Yup, ’03-’07 — so Basanez-era and beyond. Go ‘Cats!

Guy Benson on November 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM

xuyee: Yup, ’03-’06 seasons — so Basanez-era and beyond. Go ‘Cats!

Guy Benson on November 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Time for minor league football. End college football.

dforston on November 20, 2012 at 5:00 PM

BadgerHawk on November 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

They need to do something about the basketball schedule. Either start playing before New Years or make sure you play everybody at least once.

I’m not thrilled about the additions but it is what it is. I’d rather have schools wanting to join my conference than have the schools bolting.

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I’m not thrilled about the additions but it is what it is. I’d rather have schools wanting to join my conference than have the schools bolting.

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I’d rather they create basketball/football universities…no classes, everyone graduates, and the engineering majors don’t have to pay for it.

BobMbx on November 20, 2012 at 5:20 PM

(1) Is college football inexorably headed to three our four so-called “super conferences”?

Yes, and that means the national championship will finally be decided by the four conference champions playing three games, instead of a bunch of opinions and computer programs deciding it.

(2) Should college athletes be compensated monetarily for their services, considering that they’re crucial participants in a multi-billion dollar industry?

They are compensated, by having their huge tuitions paid and getting 4 figures a month for “living expenses”. I actually think they should get more and be required the very first semester they are on scholarship to take finance and budgeting classes.

(3) Where should conservatives fall on these sorts of questions?

Wherever their fandom leads them. I think it’s more of an issue of who you are fans of, which conference or team.

PastorJon on November 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

the engineering majors don’t have to pay for it.

BobMbx on November 20, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Major football programs bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to their universities.

They pay for themselves, every sport that doesn’t make money, and a couple new buildings or bike paths.

BadgerHawk on November 20, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Like Maryland’s and Rutgers’ stadiums aren’t empty enough now. Just wait until teams like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern and Minnesota come to town. It may be based on the $$$, but I wonder if MD would be going to the Big 10 if their president (Wallace Loh) wasn’t a Big 10 guy. He earned his PhD from Michigan and was the provost at Iowa before being named president at MD in 2010.

rcpjr on November 20, 2012 at 5:29 PM

BIIIIGGGGG TEENNNNNNNN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WO-QTJer3vU

cpaulus on November 20, 2012 at 5:31 PM

1) Yes
2) Yes, but not based on on-field performance. Every Player from the Starting QB to the practice squad tackle should get an equal share invested every year in an IRA or Trust. 1% of Gross Profits should be a good number.
3) Capitalism FTW

Critic2029 on November 20, 2012 at 5:43 PM

On the Big 10… what’s funny is despite being awash with cash it has translated into 1 national championship in the last decade…

Critic2029 on November 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

The Big Ten died when they let Penn State in. As for my own school, I stopped supporting/watching them when they banned our mascot. Hail to the Chief!

oceansidecon on November 20, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Should college athletes be compensated monetarily for their services, considering that they’re crucial participants in a multi-billion dollar industry?

The NFL should be paying for these college football programs since all they are any more are farm teams for the NFL.

On a different note: Nebraska joined the Big Ten a couple years back, and it wasn’t just the sports thing that was driving the agenda. Students in the University of Nebraska system now have unlimited access to programs and classes in any of the other Big Ten universities. University of Nebraska professors and researchers participate in high profile research programs that are directed by conference members rather than the individual universities. The academic pluses for Nebraska are much more important to the entire Nebraska system than the sports angle. For more years than I care to count, Nebraska had a university attached to a football team. By joining the Big Ten and committing to the academic excellence demanded of member universities, Nebraska has finally put the horse before the cart.

catsandbooks on November 20, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Maryland joins the Big Ten in 2 years.

My school (Illini) might get a conference win then.

22044 on November 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM

This is a disaster for my Temple Owls. Just when it looked like we were making some headway into a marginally decent conference (Big East) where we had a chance to steal some “good” wins, teams start dropping like flies. Our best hope now is to win the conference a few times and hope the ACC or Big 10 has pity on us. I highly doubt it, though.

PennsylvaniaPainTrain on November 20, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Look on the bright side, Guy. Northwestern won’t be the worst team in the Big Ten Twelve Fourteen.

Steve Eggleston on November 20, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Madness! Sheer Madness! Just like the rest of this effed up country, this is just another indicator! God help us all and God save America. I’ve said for years that Rome is burning again.

ultracon on November 20, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Sorry to see that my Hokies won’t get to play in Maryland again any time soon. Unless we sign yet another deal to play (and lose) at FedEx Field.

Bigfoot on November 20, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Yes, this is just the start. Football and money change everything.

Once it’s over, probably around 2020, there will be four megaconferences. The Big Ten and the SEC will both have 20 teams over two large divisions, while the Pac-12 will have 16 teams. There will also be a league of 20 with the leftovers. There will also be a big basketball-only conference for schools that don’t play big-time football.

My guess is that the ACC, Big East and Big XII will all go away. I figure the ACC will be split between the Big Ten and the SEC and that the SEC will take Texas, the Oklahoma schools and perhaps Texas Tech.

I wrote a long post that explains how I think it will shake out.

Mr. D on November 21, 2012 at 6:17 AM