Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg just can't get enough of expansion. It comes with the territory -- his territory.
Rittenberg wondered if the departure of Maryland AD Debbie Yow to NC State would open the door to the Big Ten for Maryland. It's a legitimate question, and one that can only be answered like this: With a new university president and a new athletic director, anything is possible, and Maryland is currently searching for both. So much ultimately rests in the hands of the university presidents -- including any possible changes to the current BCS system -- that a new administration could mean changes in College Park, including entertaining the idea of conference realignment. That being said, I'd be surprised if it actually happened. Here's what I told Ritt:
Yow's departure opens the door for anything and everything at Maryland, not only because she is leaving, but because the university will also be bringing in a new president soon. Yow had said repeatedly that she had had no contact with the Big Ten, and that there was no interest in leaving the ACC. A new administration might feel differently. The question is whether or not Maryland would actually be a good fit for the Big Ten. Competitively? I say no. (And I'm sticking to college football when I say that.) For example, look at Maryland's record against Penn State: 1-35-1. It's no wonder they haven't played since 1993. Why pick the Nits as an example? Well, because it's the only Big Ten school Maryland has played with any regularity. Also because Penn State recruits the state of Maryland, and has made a habit out of beating the Terps for their top in-state talent, though Maryland has picked up its recruiting efforts recently under offensive coordinator James Franklin. Overall, Maryland is 4-44-1 against the Big Ten, but hasn't played anyone other than Michigan State more than five times and hasn't faced Illinois, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa or Northwestern. Do Maryland fans really want to, though? A 2-10 record in the ACC won't translate well into a conference that just got bigger and better with the addition of Nebraska.
There are more factors than the competition at play in expansion, though, and as Rittenberg points out, Maryland sits in prime real estate. It's up to the new administration to determine if it's wise to move.