Why James Franklin and Ralph Friedgen to the Big Ten are good things for Maryland

Justin K. Aller

Familiar faces could spark new rivals for the Terps in their future home

By now, you've all heard the news about James Franklin taking the head coaching job at Penn State and Ralph Friedgen taking the offensive coordinator position at Rutgers. Which means there's going to be a little more Maryland flavor coming to the Big Ten than expected, even if it's ex-Maryland flavor.

Franklin's appointment in particular is worrisome in terms of recruiting, as Testudo Times' own John Langley already documented. But Maryland fans should take this as an opportunity to ignite one of the longest-standing traditions in college sports.

Let's face it: right now, the Terps don't have a huge connection to the Big Ten. Games like Maryland-Nebraska, Maryland-Purdue, or Maryland-Minnesota don't exactly spark excitement amongst a fanbase that is used to hating UVA and all teams from North Carolina. Of course, the Terrapins future conference has some B1G names that will certainly fill seats in Byrd Stadium and Comcast Center -- names like Michigan, Ohio State, and Indiana. But what the Terps are going to be missing when they make the jump to bigger pastures is a rival.

Enter James Franklin and Ralph Friedgen.

Sure, many people probably don't need any extra motivation to root against Penn State. And a lot of Terp fans don't hold any grudges against Franklin or Friedgen, and wish them success (just not against Maryland, of course). But you have to believe that both coaches are going to be gunning to beat their former employers, and not just because they're an opponent on the schedule.

Penn State and Rutgers both make perfect choices as new rivals for Maryland. For one thing, they're the closest schools to College Park in the Big Ten. That means you can expect a lot of overlapping in recruiting territory and an easier road trip to away games for fans of each school. In football, all three teams are in the same division, meaning the Terps will be facing the Nittany Lions and Scarlet Knights yearly.

Seeing familiar faces on the other sideline just makes it that much easier to kickstart a rivalry. Or in Penn State's case, to revive one. That is, if you take the term rivalry very loosely, since PSU leads the all-time series 35-1-1.

They may not be Duke or Virginia, but no one in the Big Ten was going to be right off the bat. Good rivalries take time to grow and develop, and wins from both sides of course help immensely. Like Maryland, Rutgers is also a new kid on the block, which means their fans will be just as open to finding new teams they love to hate. And while there are concerns on how Terps football will fare against several of the football powerhouses the Big Ten houses, now is one of the best chances for the program to be competitive against Penn State, who have not had a 10-win season since 2009.*

Spark up a couple of new Big Ten rivalries, and perhaps even the most loyal-to-the-ACC Maryland fans will have a change of heart. Because the funny thing about tradition is that at some point, it had to start somewhere.

*well, technically now not since 1996

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Testudo Times

You must be a member of Testudo Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Testudo Times. You should read them.

Join Testudo Times

You must be a member of Testudo Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Testudo Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker