FanPost

Well hello there, turtly new brethren



A week ago, Maryland was just some East Coast school existing out there in the ether. Things I knew about Maryland at the time: Under Armour, crab cakes, Gary Williams, Olympic sports. And now you're the new kid in the Big Ten, at least until Rutgers (apparently?) signs on.

I won't pretend to speak for everyone in the conference, but as a Michigan State fan I have a lot of respect for what Maryland's accomplished, particularly in basketball, so if possible I'd like to assuage some of your worries about coming to a new conference.

On the respect thing: I can't guarantee it. Some of the Big Ten's schools are every bit as arrogant as UNC and Virginia; they are called Michigan and Ohio State. We've been in the conference for 60 years, but would have joined much earlier if Michigan hadn't exerted its full efforts to keep us out. I know that Penn State's fans have a collective feeling that they were not welcomed to the conference with open arms, and to this day some of them express a desire to leave the conference (for the ACC no less). I can't intelligently speak to that, but I also know Nebraska fans have in general liked the transition, escaping from the shadow of Texas in the Big 12.

The financial and academic benefits that your blog's authors have described are real. I don't know how or why exactly, but Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany's Big Ten Network has been a smashing success, and with Maryland and Rutgers in the fold, the DC and NYC markets are now open to it as well, so those payouts are only going to get bigger. The CIC has played no small part in elevating the status of all the conference's academics in one way or another. MSU, for example, landed a $600 million U.S. Department of Energy project a few years ago . Construction has just begun, but once the facility is done, East Lansing will be a global center for nuclear physics research, and through the CIC, Maryland's faculty and students can have access to it. I mean no disrespect to what the ACC has to offer, but the Big Ten has some of the finest academic institutions in the world, and our fanbases will absolutely travel to College Park to see a new opponent (some more than others- those Nebraska fans really are insane, and have nothing better to do).

So, if you want to get to know your new adversaries collectively, consult the Big Ten's SBN page, Off Tackle Empire. A lot of the individual school pages are good as well, so I'd encourage you to check MSU's site, The Only Colors. We're always happy to discuss sports with other fans, so stop by if you're curious.

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