COLUMBUS, Ohio — Today is July 1, which means that this is the day that the University of Maryland and Rutgers University officially become members of the Big Ten Conference.
Hello Maryland and Rutgers, Welcome to the B1G!
By Tony Gerdeman
To put it in terms Rutgers could better understand, today is the day when you replaced that gaping hole in your ceiling with a brand new seven-bedroom house in the good part of town.
No more soft spots in the floor, no more doors that don't work, no more raccoons in the kitchen, and no more chalk outlines of bodies everywhere you turn!
Soon you'll have more money than you'll ever know what to do with, which just means your hair is going to get really, really big and your already loud demeanor will only increase. But at least you'll be able to afford better cigarettes now.
It is certainly a new day in the Big Ten, and not everybody is happy about it. I'm not exactly thrilled, but I get it. I won't say "There goes the neighborhood", but don't expect me to bring you over a casserole either.
Just promise us that when you beat Michigan this year, you'll pretend to be a little bit shocked. It's sort of a common courtesy among Big Ten members when it comes to the Wolverines. It's like finding out that somebody is throwing you a surprise party, but you still have to act surprised. Don't ruin the illusion. Remember, the Big Ten is all about traditions, and this is one of the biggest.
But today is not just a great day for Rutgers, as it is also a great day for the Big Ten. Why? Because it makes the addition of Maryland look so much better by comparison.
Basically, Maryland is a five, but standing next to a three like Rutgers -- and in the right light -- suddenly it can pass for a seven-and-a-half.
That being said, I do believe that both Maryland and Rutgers are sleeping giants. If Rutgers can keep their state's best players and Maryland can get their next coach sooner rather than later, I think both programs will become perennial bowl teams.
Though the fact that the Big Ten just added two teams who will be striving to become perennial bowl teams feels a little bit like having a water balloon fight while drowning.
I know better than to doubt Jim Delany, however, and so I won't do it here. I've said this before, but I am one of the few college football writers who doesn't believe he is smarter than Delany.
Delany and the Big Ten can only open the vault doors for the schools. What they do with the money after that is entirely up to them.
Rest assured, however, that life is going to change for the Maryland and Rutgers athletic programs. For one, people will actually pay attention to them when they fail, especially when it happens in a bowl game.
But hey, any attention is good attention, right Dave Brandon?
Their reputation will also rise and fall with Ohio State's postseason results for some reason.
One good thing about the move is that all of their games will now be on television. The bad news, however, is that all of their games will now be on television.
Fortunately for them both, they have been placed into a division where they have absolutely zero expectations. That means if they have even a little bit of success, they are guaranteed to have a Big Ten Coach of the Year on their sidelines.
That's not always a good thing, however, as sometimes a coach can turn those awards into a contract that is impossible to get out of. When that happens, there isn't really anything you can do about it. It's just best to learn to make friends with the pain.
One underrated benefit of today's addition is that now Penn State will have a couple of neighbors to feud with and they won't have to put so much of their energy and disappointment into feuding with Ohio State.
Yes, today is a great day for two storied universities, and it is also a great day for Rutgers and Maryland.
People may question this move for the foreseeable future, but when Maryland is collecting bowl wins against Utah, and Rutgers is upsetting Tulane on the road in both basketball and football, I think they will begin to come around.
After today the Big Ten will never be the same, and eventually it will even be better off.
Until that happens, however, we can just blame Rutgers.
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