Another football season, another rumor of conference realignment, and this latest one is dateline College Park. Once again we are going through this Maryland to the Big 10 issue. Look, let’s be clear, I have no problem with the Big 10, but it isn’t where Maryland belongs.
I know everything is driven by money, but let’s look at this as fans (what a novel idea in today’s college footall). I can basically sum everything up in about one sentence:
You can pry the Maryland-Duke basketball series out of my cold dead hands.
You can also take out “Duke” and put in “UNC”, or even NC State, or UVA. I could go on and on. But before we get to that, let’s not forget Maryland is a founding school in the ACC, it’s OUR conference. We are not some vagabond school that follows the money. This is our home, this is where we belong. Is it perfect? No. Will it always be more focused on Tobacco Road? Yes, but don’t think for a second that we wouldn’t be complaining about the Big 10 being focused on the Corn Belt!
We would never be accepted in the Big 10 as much as I don’t even acknowledge that Texas AM is in the SEC. But at least Texas AM makes geographical sense! I have been to every ACC “State” too many times to even try to remember. I’ve never been to Indiana, I was in O’Hara airport once, but never to Illinois, or Wisconsin, or Minnesota. And though I am sure those are nice places, I’m not going to go there to watch Maryland play football or basketball (minus a tournament setting).
The east coast is North/South centric. We move up and down, not east and west. I don’t know if it is due to the Mountains, or the fact that I-95/I-85 nicely take you to where you need to be in ACC Country (minus the newbie Pitt and Syracuse teams). Right now I can drive to UVA, VT, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, and NC State. It’s an easy 6 hour drive and the weather in North Carolina and Virigina is pretty mild in October and November. Heck one of the greatest road trips we ever took (PhiLLLLip Rivers Senior Day) was the perfect weekend. Golfing in shorts one day, beating NC State for the fourth straight year with Rivers the next.
What road trips will I make in the Big 10? PSU obviously (can’t wait to be taunted every fall by my PA relatives!) and Rutgers if they join as well. That’s it, without a plane ticket. Throw in Clemson and Atlanta where I have also attended Football games, and just about all the Non-Florida ACC schools are reachable and cheap to get to.
The idea of life without ACC basketball is just inconceivable to me. Yet at the same time I have absolutely no faith in the President or AD, and am VERY worried about this situation. If we go to the Big 10, I don’t know what I’ll do. Kevin Anderson has figuratively beaten the life out of me with almost every move he has made (even the Turgeon hire wasn’t exactly a smooth process). From the time he sat down at the press conference with Ralph Friedgen, until this decision looming Monday, he has given me zero hope that this will break out the way I want it to, so I’m bracing for the worst.
And then I’ll think about what to do. Life outside the ACC won’t be the end of the world, but it will be a constant reminder that this University cares more about my check book than me being a fan. Don’t get me wrong, money is what drives colleges and research, but it’s fans that bring the money, and keep crapping on us and see where it gets you.
The culture of Maryland is changing. Yes the kids are getting smarter, but I am getting sick of hearing about smart in state High School kids getting passed over by Maryland, yet accepted into VT or NC State or PSU, or other neighboring schools that are just as well respected. These local kids trying to be Terps are being turned away, which the University see’s as raising the bar, but the kids that are getting in, aren’t going to be in the area forever. They will move on and go off to make money, which is great. But where are the next generations of fans going to come from. I look at my tailgate and I don’t know how many of us get in to Maryland if we were High School seniors today, yet we represent the most loyal of the fan base.
Anyway, that is getting off track. Just say no to joining the Big 10. I mean for god’s sakes, they call Coke “pop” out there! Honest to god POP! Stop the madness, and stay home.