Weekend reports from both ESPN and Yahoo! that the Big Ten were speaking with Maryland and Rutgers about joining their ranks are now 50 percent completed. On Monday afternoon, Maryland will formally announce their intent to join the conference.
The move(s) would give the Big Ten... 14 members.
And would add two underwhelming football programs to an already-underwhelming group of teams.
Oh, but the basketball teams at those school would help the Big Ten....
What we're seeing here is clearly a cash grab by the Big Ten to become a major player in the college lacrosse market....
Ultimately, this is about the Big Ten extending their footprint to include the east coast of the country. By adding the state universities of New Jersey and Maryland, the conference adds two nice - not great, but nice - markets to their collection.
But if Colorado didn't do much to help the Pac 12, what will these additions mean to the Big Ten?
What continues to separate the SEC from the rest of the NCAA is the quality they're recruiting - both in uniform and in membership; Texas A&M has been outstanding in their first year in the SEC.
College sports are cyclical, and any program/conference can return to prominence. Certainly a look down the road to South Bend is all any fan needs to understand how quickly the right players and coach can turn things around. But there hasn't been anything really overwhelming about Maryland since... Len Bias? Maybe Joe Smith?
I really can't apologize for my apathy towards today's announcement from Maryland and the Big Ten. This isn't a game-changer, and the conference is desperately in need of one right now.