The Big Ten is reportedly adding two new schools: Maryland, a charter member of the ACC that ESPN says has already accepted an invitation, and New Jersey's own Rutgers, which ESPN says will be announced as the Big Ten's fourteenth member tomorrow. College football, obviously, has been driving all the realignment in recent years, and the Scarlett Knights will indeed be jumping to a more prestigious football conference. That conference, meanwhile, gets a presence in the New York market, though Rutgers is hardly a major player in the New York sports scene.
It also means that New York–based fans of other Big Ten schools — this fellow, for instance — will get the chance to see their teams play conference games in person without leaving the tri-state area, though it's worth noting that not everyone is psyched about the news. Wrote Ted Glover at Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire when word of the conference additions broke:
From a financial standpoint, this is smart for the B1G. It adds a ton of BTN households to the network, and adds a competitive edge in the New York City market. It also gives the B1G a recruiting footprint in the Atlantic Coast, a fertile ground for teams like Ohio State and Penn State in recent years. And in the 21st century, that's the bottom line.
But overall? This is a swing and a miss for the conference. If they were going to take a swing, this is a seeing eye single. Maryland and Rutgers do nothing more than add two more teams to the conference without moving the competitive needle in football.
Rutgers, by the way, will play in the Leaders division, along with Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, and Maryland, with Illinois switching divisions.