Why Is the Big Ten Going to Subsidize Maryland's Travel?

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterMarch 18, 2013

July 26, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany speaks during the Big Ten media day at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports
Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Because they want the Terps that bad.

That's right: While Big Ten fans piss and moan about the inclusion of the less-than-stellar Terrapins coming to their league, the conference could not be happier to welcome the team from College Park, Maryland.

So happy, in fact, that as the Baltimore Sun reported, they have no problem subsidizing the Terps travels.

Or, put more accurately, the Big Ten is extremely excited to welcome the Baltimore-D.C. digital media markets into their fold.

The transition, again, speaks to the big-money play by the one and only Jim Delany. Not only did the commissioner go out and grab New Jersey, as he works to force his way into New York City through Rutgers; the puppet master also made the Terps a deal they couldn't refuse by offering to help out their travel costs, in addition to sharing the Big Ten wealth.

A wealth that is only going to grow as the newcomers and their respective regional cable-satellite providers grow the footprint of the league.

As we mentioned last week, with the SEC Network coming to fruition, this model of aggressive expansion to capitalize on cable-satellite bundling practices is going to pay dividends—at least until the current model breaks.

The positive thing for Delany is that there is no true timeline for the demise of the current cable-satellite model. It is open season on unwitting cable subscribers who pay for but don't watch the Big Ten Network. The latest acquisitions are the folks in Maryland and the DC Metro area, and for the Big Ten, getting them on board was important enough to warrant sweetening Maryland's deal.

Good for the Terps, a school that can certainly use the money. Good for the Big Ten, a conference that is still looking to stay out in front of the revenue game.

And bad for traditionalists who don't like the changing landscape of college football, where geography does not matter nearly as much as your media market's footprint.