My question is why would the Big 10 ask Maryland to join?
It's clear that football is the big $$ in collegiate athletics, and a school looking to make big $$ wants to be in the most prominent conference possible. In the BCS, the SEC and the Big 10 are the creme de la creme; their top teams are assured the highest rankings and best slots in the biggest bowl games. Even the weak programs in these two conferences benefit from the windfall produced by their top-tier teams' bowl performances.
There isn't an ACC team that's a legitimate threat to win the football national championship. Truth be told, the conference isn't that focused on football, despite FSU, Clemson... and maybe Virginia Tech. That means ACC schools ultimately are left with empty cups when the bowl money's distributed. So, if Maryland is going to field a legitimate BCS football team, it would be foolish for the school to NOT join the Big 10. This is about business.
All this talk about 'tradition'? FEH!!! The ACC threw tradition out the window when it started expanding back in the 90s. The day has already arrived when the Terps no longer face every conference rival in football each season (it's not like fans are attending games, anyway); in hoops this season MD faces N.C. State, Clemson, Miami, and Ga Tech only once. If it's tradition you want, ask Jefferson Pilot to put their archived tapes of Maryland games online.
I've resigned myself to accepting Maryland will never, ever again compete for a BCS championship in football, or fill that too-ambitious-by-half football stadium. I'm OK if they decided to downgrade to the FCS, or not field a NCAA football team. So, if Kevin Anderson asks me, I'll tell him to take the money.
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