Maryland joins the Big Ten: a roundtable discussion

Dave Tucker

Some of us Testudo Times folks sit down and talk about Maryland's recent move to the B1G.

1. Hey! Maryland is B1G now! What are you most looking forward to as a member of the Big Ten?

Jake: Not being apart of the ACC anymore? In all seriousness, it's being in a football conference. When the schedule would come out in the ACC, we'd see BC, Wake, etc. Now it's Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State. And of course Ohio State and Michigan. That's awesome.

Alex: Part of the allure of the Big Ten is that there isn't one particularly above-all answer to this question. The overall athletic picture is probably better than the ACC, but I really think the difference is negligible. The academic and research situations are great in the Big Ten, but it's not like the ACC doesn't have some tremendous institutions. Road trips to the Big House and Horseshoe will be fun, but it's not like trips to Charlottsville were the worst thing in the world. In general, I think the B1G offers Maryland a number of decent-sized upgrades, a fun change of scenery, and likely a big pile of money. That's good enough for me.

Todd: Fried butter at the Iowa State Fair. Covering the field hockey championship in Ann Arbor the first weekend in November because the weather should be simply delightful. Seriously, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the relationship between Maryland and the B1G when the honeymoon period ends. Thus far, I think the conference has done pretty much everything right in making Maryland feel not merely welcome but like a valued member of the conference - a feeling we had to look long and hard to find in the ACC. I'm also looking forward to seeing whether Maryland's presence in the B1G will raise that league's profile in sports like field hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and women's basketball and similarly if being in the B1G will raise Maryland softball, wrestling, and volleyball to new heights.

Pete: The Big Ten Network. Being able to watch Maryland games easily across a wide variety of sports? Excellence.

Grant: It's just exciting. Change is good in sports and in culture, I'm truly looking forward to rooting against Penn State and Michigan State and Ohio State. At the same time, the ACC will always have be a special sentiment to Maryland but at the end of the day, we were meant for B1Gger and better things. If it had to be one thing it's the football games. We already have Ohio State at home this year and a prime time matchup against Michigan State, we are now on the map for football and not just because of our cool uniforms.

Dave: Not being in the ACC and dealing with their hypocritical fans anymore. And playing great football teams and not washed up former Big East football teams.

2. On that same note, we bid farewell to #GoACC. What wonderful ACC tradition will you miss most?

Jake: The ACC Basketball Tournament in Greensboro of course. Not a more lively place that mixed in all the fans of schools.

Alex: I don't wear tinfoil hats, but I do think Duke and Carolina exert way too much control over the conference's administration, and their basketball coaches have too much real estate in the heads of league referees. I won't miss being around that.

Todd: Never picking State. But I guess that's not really an ACC tradition, is it? Maybe Mike Patrick and Doc Walker calling football games.

Pete: Winning 2-3 conference championships just about each year.

Grant: Each home game against Duke or UNC, holding a glimmer of hope that: (a) we'd beat them and storm the court and riot and burn stuff, and (b) that win would put us in Joe Lunardi's "Last Four In"

Dave: I'll miss playing Duke and Virginia, especially in basketball.

3. If you could bring one ACC friend along with Maryland to the B1G, who would you choose?

Jake: To be honest, I don't care for anyone

Alex: That's easy: Virginia. There's a good rivalry there, and Virginia's a fine school that would bring a lot to the CIC and, who knows, maybe even the athletic conference.

Todd: John Swofford, because clearly Maryland leaves no better friend behind.

Pete: Wake Forest. They were always nice.

Grant: Virginia Tech, so we could remind Seth Allen what he's missing out on.

Dave: I'd definitely pick Virginia. I'll miss those bow tie loving, Ivy League wannabes.

4. Maryland will arguably have their best football team under Randy Edsall this season, but will face a heck of a schedule in their first B1G season. What's your prediction for total number of wins in 2014?

Jake: Just regular seasons, or postseason too? Regular season: 7. Postseason: 8

Todd: Oooooh! Predictions. My favorite part of any round table. Pick a number greater than 6 and less than 10.

Pete: I'll go with eight, because I'm in a good mood today. Catch me on another day and I may say seven.

Grant: I'll low-ball it and say six. We rarely sweep non-conference play and too many people are assuming we will win every game we should win on paper. With that said, I have a 20 spot that Maryland wins at least one conference game this season against my friend that goes to South Carolina (spoiled), I like my odds.

Dave: I'm pretty confident they win at least 7 but could win as many as 9. But they'll probably end up at 8*

*assuming they don't get devastated by injuries...again.

5. What B1G venue do you most want to visit?

Jake: In terms of stadium...The Big House. In terms of school and interaction... Wisconsin

Alex: Most of my best friends are scattered around the conference right now, in places like Ann Arbor, Bloomington and State College. I'll sneak a few road trips next year, I think, but seeing a game at Beaver Stadium is up there on my list.

Todd: Lincoln. I want to see if those fans live up to their friendly reputation.

Pete: Literally any one of the multitude of massive football stadiums.

Grant: Beaver. Winning a game there, while sporting all Terps gear would be legendary.

Dave: I've been to the Big House. It's awesome. I'd like to see a game at the Horseshoe, mainly because I want to see Ohio State's Marching band.

6. Maryland has to develop some new rivalries in the B1G and Penn State and Rutgers are prime candidates. Which one do you think will develop into Maryland's primary rival?

Jake: Penn State in football. Basketball... perhaps Indiana? I could see that. I don't see Rutgers ever taking off as a rival.

Todd: Are those my only choices? If so, then Penn State. I don't foresee the Maryland fan base ever working up much passion for Rutgers. Of course, that could simply be me imposing my views on the Maryland fan base. Seriously, has anyone ever thought, "I'd really like to play Rutgers in _______" fill in the sport? I can see any number of one directional or at best secondary rivalries developing especially in men's basketball much like we've had over the years in the ACC. I just don't see Maryland supplanting Purdue as the conference rival or even Notre Dame or Kentucky in the minds of Hoosiers fans just as they could never surpass North Carolina in the minds of Duke fans.

Pete: I think Penn State makes a whole lot of sense here, no matter how long the Nittany Lion faithful would like to deny it. The other options for them are all taken up (Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan have better things to deal with), and I think within a decade the Maryland-PSU game is a huge deal.

Grant: For football, it would be hard to argue against the Penn State rivalry brewing. I kind of view Rutgers as the Wake Forest or Boston College of the B1G, they are kind of just there, so a rivalry with them would be a little disappointing personally. Most all of the basketball games will be competitive but I'd like to see Indiana become a gritty rivalry of Maryland.

Dave: I definitely think PSU in football, especially if Maryland can win this season. Penn State joined the B1G in 1991 and still hasn't developed a "true" rival in the conference. I think Maryland changes that.

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