The University of Maryland has decided to join the B1G. It’s rumored that Rutgers is following suit tomorrow, but in the interest of not jumping the gun, let’s just roll with some information on the University of Maryland.
College Park, MD
Driving Distance from current B1G Members (courtesy Google Maps):
Illinois – 712 mi, 12 hours 18 mins
Indiana – 641 mi, 11 hours 11 mins
Iowa – 906 mi, 15 hours 34 mins
Michigan – 523 mi, 9 hours 17 mins
Michigan State – 588 mi, 10 hours 24 mins
Minnesota – 1,104 mi, 19 hours 33 mins
Nebraska – 1,205 mi, 20 hours 25 mins
Northwestern – 713 mi, 12 hours 49 mins
Ohio State – 421 mi, 7 hours 27 mins
Penn State – 200 mi, 3 hours 52 mins
Purdue – 653 mi, 11 hours 26 mins
Wisconsin – 844 mi, 15 hours 9 mins
1856 – Maryland is the largest university in the state and in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Much like all but one member of its new conference, Maryland is a member of the Association of American Universities. They were a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference athletic league.
Number of students:
Terrapins – Their mascot is named Testudo.
Fun Fact about nickname:
A Terrapin is a turtle that lives in fresh, or brackish, waters. It should not be confused with a tortoise, which is a land dwelling turtle.
Things to do in College Park:
College Park is in the DC Metro, so this could be a trip that B1G fans would actually want to take. You can make a long weekend of it and just hit up everything the DC area has to offer. Or, if you aren’t really in the DC mood, it’s also a short trip to Baltimore. Perhaps your team will time their game so you can see someone you care about take on the Ravens or something.
Notable Maryland Alumni:
Connie Chung – Journalist
Scott Van Pelt – ESPN Anchor
Larry David – co-creator and producer of Seinfeld and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Henson – Creator of The Muppets
Record Vs. B1G in football:
So, what do they offer?
The vast majority of B1G fans are, well, let’s just say underwhelmed with the addition of Maryland to the B1G. The only people who are arguably even more underwhelmed are a large number of Maryland fans. So, clearly, this is going to be a bit of a rocky relationship at the start. I’d like to smooth that out a bit here, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen. While I can see the positives in establishing a wider footprint, it lacks the pop many B1G fans were expecting.
The big beef with the B1G fans? Maryland doesn’t exactly bolster the football resume. The big beef with the Maryland fans? They are underwhelmed with the B1G as a football conference. Now, as you can see from the record above, they really have zero room to point and laugh at the B1G and the few tweets and posts I’ve seen from Maryland fans stating they would prefer the SEC caused me to laugh uncontrollably. That worked well for Mizzou, didn’t it?
Overlooking this, Maryland does have something to bring to the table in women’s sports and men’s basketball. If we’re being honest, B1G basketball is outperforming B1G football by a rather large margin over the past couple of years. The B1G is on a roll in the B1G/ACC challenge and has been doing well on the hardwood. The basketball will only be stronger with Maryland and it also provides some mutually beneficial recruiting perks.
It’s worth pointing out to you Maryland fans that are lamenting this move that the B1G is a more stable conference than the ACC. You will make money in the B1G and the likelihood of reinstating the seven sports you had to drop is high. Also, mock the B1G all you want, but football wise it will not be any easier for you and, though basketball is your strength, it won’t be there either and you aren’t losing much, if anything, in terms of your RPI. Really, Maryland should be stoked that the B1G would offer them.
What it probably truthfully boils down to is the way the Terrapin faithful and the B1G faithful feel about their respective traditions. Maryland was a charter member of the ACC. The B1G is largely Midwestern/Heartland. The B1G is kind of tired of expansion and, frankly, had their hearts set on Mizzou, Syracuse or Pitt more so than Maryland. Also, there have been comments from the Maryland faithful about their lack of enthusiasm around degrading themselves to traveling in flyover land. Oh, please. You will get to attend games at some of the greatest venues in college sports. I think you’ll be fine.
So, really, Maryland brings something to the table that should play well in the B1G…the potential role of big, bad, snobby, poopy heads. Midwest values vs Mid-Atlantic elitism. Blue collar vs white collar. They can also live with PSU in their “oh woe is the B1G and their hatred of anything East of the Ohio” land. In that regard, it’s a good match.
I’m sure both sides will eventually come around. After all, this happened rather quickly. When Rutgers is added into the mix, perhaps it will all make sense. Perhaps this is just the start of an expansion to 16 and we’ll be wowed and Maryland will also feel better.
If all else fails, I think there are probably plenty of B1G football fans who are willing to make the trip. You’re welcome for the revenue and income boost.