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So…why exactly did the Big Ten add Rutgers and Maryland?

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If the title of this article is a question you’ve been asking yourself for the last few years (like many of us), head over to Sports Illustrated and read Stewart Mandel’s fantastic story about why the Big Ten drastically expanded its footprint.

One of many takeaways from it:

The Big Ten’s slippage in football is largely due to the dearth of high-level talent in its population-depleted backyard. In the 2015 recruiting class, just 32 of Rivals’ 325 four or five-star prospects hail from one of the nine current Big Ten states. Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Virginia and New Jersey, however, add another 32 on their own.

It’s no secret the nation’s most fertile recruiting grounds are the South, Texas and California. The Big Ten still doesn’t have a presence in those states, but inching toward the Mason-Dixon line and possibly being able to pull recruits from Virginia helps.

Too, New Jersey produced a number of top-rated players in the recruiting class of 2014 (10 four- or five-star recruits) with four of the top five players from the state going to Big Ten schools.

There’s a ton of good stuff from Mandel — who’s moving to Fox Sports, by the way — so give it a read while waiting for Mark Emmert’s testimony this morning.

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9 Responses to “So…why exactly did the Big Ten add Rutgers and Maryland?”
  1. YouMadCauseImStylingOnYou says: Jun 19, 2014 10:31 AM


  2. planecrashguy says: Jun 19, 2014 10:35 AM

    Adding the DC/Baltimore/N Va and Philly/NYC television markets to the B10 Network was a significant part of it.

  3. kosarkid says: Jun 19, 2014 10:49 AM

    I think they added them to help lower their ratio of schools that have enabled a pedophile to use their campus at will versus schools which have not.

  4. classyjacklambert says: Jun 19, 2014 10:51 AM

    It was win-win for the Big 10, they get to reap the benefits of a bunch of large markets while not risking having a team that would challenge the mediocre hierarchy in place in the conference.

  5. drummerhoff says: Jun 19, 2014 11:01 AM

    Not completely buying it.

    the idea that members of the Big Ten alone have slipped is arguable. Over the same cumulative time period, all conference – except one- have seen a change in performance … And it’s not like they’ve gone backwards, it’s that the SEC has dominated everyone in college football with an unprecedented run of national championships.

    So, why did the B1G expand? They expanded for the same reasons every conference expands ($) and , as everyone from Penn St can tell you, the B1G expanded to the east to fulfill a long ago stated desire to add travel partner schools for Happy Valley trips. Rutgers and Maryland have a very long history w PSU.

  6. woebegong says: Jun 19, 2014 11:17 AM

    They really needed to improve their conference strength of schedule, to get higher in the playoff model?

  7. manik56 says: Jun 19, 2014 11:18 AM

    Population is not shrinking on the whole. It is just not growing as fast as it is out west and down south. Last time I checked, 85 scholerships has been the rule for about 20 years.

    What has killed the B1G is poor coaching and not oversigning. Think where OSU would have been last year had they oversigned every year and found just one guy to replace C Bryant?

  8. corvusrex96 says: Jun 19, 2014 11:24 AM

    The ACC surrounding PSU with the addition Pitt and Syracuse is what fueled the BIG 10 poaching MD and Rutgers

  9. raysfan1 says: Jun 19, 2014 1:44 PM

    Just being picky here, but the Mason-Dixon Line forms part of the borders between Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia. Thus the Big 10 adding the Terrapins means it has now crossed the Mason-Dixon.

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