Maryland Football: Big Ten Smart to Add Terps to Expand Along East Coast

Ethan GrantAnalyst INovember 18, 2012

November 3, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins linebacker Kenny Tate (6) in action against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Byrd Stadium. Georgia Tech beat Maryland 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE

Multiple reports have linked Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten conference this weekend, a move that would push the league to 14 total teams and get college football closer to the "Super Conference" era.

Coming off five straight conferences losses, it's a bit of good news for the Terps, who appear to be in need of a change of scenery.

Chip Patterson of CBS Sports has the scoop, outlining the possibility for the team to join the conference in a very short amount of time. ESPN's Brett McMurphy first broke the story.

Maryland in negotiations w/B1G. If Terps go, Rutgers would also join B1G sources tell @espn espn.go.com/college-footba…

— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 17, 2012

For the Big Ten, this is another brilliant move to keep pace with the SEC and Pac-12, each of which have gained members in the last two years.

According to these reports about the move, the television rights for the conference would be renegotiated, and that would stand to make all the schools currently under that umbrella a lot of money. Maryland is no exception, and would command the East Coast media market with Rutgers.

Maryland is in the ACC, a conference that could soon absorb smaller schools. They are in the process of adding Syracuse right now, but losing Maryland would send them on a search for another member.

The Big Ten has been one of the country's most aggressive conferences in this realignment phase we're seeing across college football, and the East Coast recruiting, exposure and association would only further the rich history and tradition already associated with the major players.

The TV deal won't hurt either.

The Big East will also be in a bit of a pickle, as Rutgers leaving would undermine their efforts to add new schools like SMU and Boise State to the mix to replace the departed Syracuse and West Virginia.

However, this is the right move for the Big Ten, and shows that they are thinking about the bigger picture of the super conference era. The Pac-12 is expanding (and could expand more), the SEC added two schools that would be contenders in almost every other conference and the Big 12, although smaller right now, will have to follow suit to stay alive.

It helps both parties out financially, and while it will take Maryland a year or two to adjust to the rough, physical game that is the Big Ten, it's worth the price of admission.

The only hurdles left appear to be the exit fee from the ACC and any potential hang ups with the NCAA. By this time next week, the Big Ten could have 14 members. Although the right move for the conference, is it the right move for college football moving forward?

It's going to be super to find out.

 

Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team.