Maryland and Rutgers are reportedly talking about adding a label and rivalry trophy to their annual football game. This is as silly as everybody thinks it is.
And yet, I do not care. Let it happen! College football is fun for its inherent ridiculousness, and there are relatively few things more ridiculous than two schools who hadn’t played in the same conference until the last two years deciding that they’re so diametrically opposed to one another that they need a rivalry trophy. That they’re two schools who have been recently bad at football only makes it more fun.
Maryland and Rutgers will both get lampooned for it, and they’ll deserve it. So what? It’s funny, and it would make talking and writing about what figures to be a fairly boring game more fun. Sports are supposed to be fun, and they can even be funny.
There’s another point here, though.
Maryland does not have a football rival! I am very serious about this. Not one.
Maryland has maybe a bit of animosity with Penn State, but those two schools have only two years of modern history playing football against each other, too. Penn State has bigger rivalry fish to fry than Maryland, insofar as the Nittany Lions are "rivals" against Michigan and Ohio State.
Not every rivalry is going to be Michigan-Ohio State or Auburn-Alabama. Most are irrelevant to the vast majority of the college football-viewing public.
Adding a trophy to the Maryland-Rutgers series will do nothing to make it significantly spicier. But it will be so condescendingly disregarded that losing this annual game will be an embarrassment for someone, and that will give each game some stakes beyond the right to finish no worse than sixth in the Big Ten East.
This is totally unnecessary, but I endorse it.
In other news
Will Likely is going to play offense this year, it sure sounds like.
DJ Durkin’s full Big Ten media day presser is here.
Twins! Profiles of Maryland freshmen Elijah and Elisha Daniels.
The size differences here are enjoyable:
Terps roll deep at #B1GMediaDay! pic.twitter.com/fqOo6VYTZZ— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) July 26, 2016
From left to right, that’s Michael Dunn, Durkin, Likely and Jermaine Carter Jr.
IMS went through some recently underrated Maryland recruits.
I will say this, coming out of Big Ten Media Days: Both Rutgers (Ash) and Maryland (Durkin) upgraded coaches. Such a tough division, though.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 26, 2016
My favorite Maryland-centric read of the day, from my friend Daniel Gallen in The Baltimore Sun: Durkin’s trying to be different than Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh, but maybe not too different.
Enjoy your Hump Day, everyone.