This time of the college sports season is tough to come up with news worthy post, but there is one topic floating around out there that won’t go away. Talk of Maryland to the Big 10(11) when they expand, which seems very likely, won’t go away, and here Andy Katz mentions Maryland. It has been mentioned in Sports Illustrated and in several message boards. The thing is, other than MONEY, why on earth would Maryland want to go to the Big 10. Let’s be honest, it is money that drives the bus, and football is the co-pilot.
Let’s take a look at this from a fans perspective using football first, since it does drive the bus as I alluded to earlier. What is nice about playing in the ACC is the occasional football road trip into the Carolina’s or even further south into Georgia or Florida, where you can extend the warmer weather a little longer. I will use Philip Rivers’ senior day as example number one. That’s right, it was the weekend before Thanksgiving, and we all took to the highways a day early to squeeze in a round of golf before the tailgate and game the next day. We wore shorts, got sunburn, and had a memory that none of us will soon forget. It was the perfect weekend. Now let’s take a look at the Big 10. It’s southern most school is PSU. Not exactly a place you want to go to extend the summer! Plus it is even starting to get a little higher in elevation there. That is the best of the scenario’s. Northwestern? Chicago is nice, but let’s not kid ourselves. We want to be there in the summer. Minnesota? One Final Four, and one Wedding of a cousin, where it snowed on thanksgiving. I have seen enough of Minnesota. Michigan? I guess it would be cool to see a game in the Big House, But please let that be in August.
From a football perspective, you could argue Maryland doesn’t have the great rivalries, but it does have a decent tradition in the ACC, and I would like to see it continue. Now, I don’t think anyone out there would argue the ACC butters it’s bread with basketball. Even after the ACC expanded, it is obvious basketball reigns supreme. Think about what we would lose. Rivalries, are aplenty. Can you picture a season where we don’t get to play Duke? There is no denying, that is THE game on the Maryland home slate year in and year out. Think of Comcast and Cole, and all the great game day atmosphere’s. They were almost all against Duke and North Carolina. The ACC thinks so much of the Maryland and Duke Rivalry, that they set up our schedule to ensure we play them every year, twice. Sure Carolina is their rival, but let’s not kid anyone. There have been some great Maryland Duke games over the last 15 years or so. It’s not just Duke. When you have been a part of something as long as Maryland has been a part of the ACC (does the Term Founding Member mean anything?), you have reasons to dislike all the other schools. Familiarity is what makes it so great. It is what makes it special.
While it is a honor to be mentioned in all these expansion articles that come up, I prefer to stay where we are. Sure the Big 10 has a pretty good academic reputation, but so does the ACC. Geographically, it doesn’t make much difference. You go from being one of the northern most schools, to one of the southern most, but still, it does not put you in the heart of Big 10 country. So for all these people floating Maryland out there as a possibility, I beg you to stop. I am happy where I am, and I bet 100% of the responses I get will say the same. So Debbie Yow, and Dr. Mote, or your soon to be replacement, please consider this before doing something you will regret.