Just when you think this wild game of conference musical chairs is over, the band starts up again and the craziness continues.
We learned tradition doesn't matter anymore. Loyalty doesn't matter anymore. A nearly 60-year affiliation with the ACC as a founding member doesn't matter anymore.
- Big Ten move took Terps coaches by surprise
- UM's application for Big Ten admission approved
- After UM, Rutgers expected to be next school to Big Ten
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- Maryland's recent bowl history
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College Park, MD, USA
Natural geographic boundaries that make sense from a travel perspective don't matter anymore.
Nobody in charge at College Park seems to think it's ludicrous to send the baseball team to Iowa City for a game. Or to send the golf team to Lincoln, Neb. Or the men's or women's soccer teams to Ann Arbor, Mich.
So what if these crazy-long trips keep the, ahem, student-athletes out of the classroom for even longer periods of time?
Or that it'll be a lot more expensive to send non-revenue teams to such far-flung outposts as Madison, Wis., and Minneapolis-St. Paul? That doesn't seem to matter, either.
Nor does it matter anymore what students and alumni think about these ridiculous conference realignments.
The way these moves work now is that college administrators in expensive suits meet behind closed doors in secret conference calls, just the way it went down at Maryland.
And next thing you know — ta-da! — here's another school packing its bags for greener pastures, another proud conference torn asunder, another New World Order to the ACC or the Big Ten or what have you.
No, the only thing that matters anymore to these colleges with roaming eyes is the money.
I know, I know ... that's hardly a new revelation.
But if you're Maryland, do you blow up 60 years of tradition and abandon a proud, stable conference just because the Big Ten's television deal pays out roughly $24.6 million to each of its schools while the ACC is projected to pay its schools $17 million?
In another sense, Maryland's move to the Big Ten is so deliciously absurd it sounds like a "Saturday Night Live" skit. Or something from the old Monty Python show.
Think about it: the Big Ten, which now has 12 members, is still called the Big Ten. And soon it'll have 14 members with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers (announced any moment now.)
So will they finally change the Big Ten's name?
Will they make it the Big Fourteen?
And doesn't the Big Fourteen just roll off the tongue?
As much as money is behind Maryland's move to the Big Ten, so is the chance to upgrade the football program and fill those empty luxury boxes in Byrd Stadium when the Michigans and Ohio States and Penn States come to town.
But the Terps, with six wins the past two seasons, will be cannon fodder for good teams for years to come. Maybe someday a football rivalry between Maryland and Penn State will heat up again. But it's men's basketball, the Terps' other revenue giant, that will suffer in the short term.