College Football

Big Ten Expansion: Adding Maryland and Rutgers Does Not Strengthen Conference

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Rutgers University Athletic director Tim Pernetti looks on during a press conference announcing that Rutgers University is joining the Big Ten Conference on November 20, 2012 at the Hale Center in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Nicholas GossCorrespondent INovember 28, 2012

The Big Ten has a rich football history and is one of the most competitive conferences in all of college football, but the future additions of Maryland and Rutgers (via ESPN's Brett McMurphy) will do very little to improve the quality of the conference from a football standpoint.

Since 2003, Maryland's football program has a record of 50-60, and the team hasn't won a conference championship since 2001.

Meanwhile, Rutgers' football program has enjoyed more success over the last decade, but the Scarlet Knights have not played in any major bowl games at any point in their history.

Not only will Maryland and Rutgers face tougher competition in the Big Ten during football season, the recent struggles of each school's basketball programs also does very little to strengthen the quality of the conference.

The Terrapins and Scarlet Knights have made just three combined NCAA Tournament appearances since 2004. The Rutgers men's basketball team hasn't made the NCAA Tournament or the NIT since the 2005-06 season.

The last time the Big Ten expanded, it added Nebraska in 2011. This was a great move by the conference because the Cornhuskers have a top football program, a passionate fanbase and an impressive history of success, including multiple national championships and Heisman Trophy winners.

This is the kind of school that the Big Ten should be adding. For the conference to compete for BCS championships and NCAA Tournament titles, it needs elite programs that will be able to compete with, and defeat, the top teams from the SEC, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12.

Notre Dame would be a great addition to the Big Ten due to the success of the Fighting Irish's football and basketball teams, as well as the school's high academic standards. However, with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers, it's hard to imagine Notre Dame becoming a member of the Big Ten anytime soon.

Expansion is a good idea for the Big Ten, but adding schools such as Maryland and Rutgers is not. These schools will not strengthen the conference from a football or basketball standpoint.

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