Tuesday, November 20, 2012

11/20 (Bigger Ten) Quickie

Now, remember: I'm a Northwestern alum and I grew up very close to Maryland (including a strong rooting interest in Maryland hoops), so I appreciate all sides here.

But the reality is that it is a GREAT move for Maryland (and, arguably, even more for Rutgers), and -- yes -- it is entirely about the money.

Maryland athletics is in terrible shape financially. Joining the Big Ten and its ATM of a cable network will help immeasurably.

From the Big Ten's standpoint, expanding the footprint is mandatory in a "super-conference" world, and it is most ideal to do it in big markets like DC and NYC.

I have no patience for people griping "What about the tradition!?" Those people don't have to finance college athletics. You can lament the end of the Maryland-Duke rivalry while agreeing the move makes sense.

As many have suggested, it is likely the Big Ten isn't done yet. The ideal form isn't 14 -- it's 16. And UNC is the prime target for the league, unless the SEC wises up and nabs them first.

And once the Big Ten is up to 15 -- and presuming the ACC loses a standard-bearer like Florida State to a less-desperate league like the Big 12 -- ACC newcomer Notre Dame may re-think its opposition to joining the B1G.

And if ND isn't interested, I could see the Big Ten going for UVA (great academics, irrelevant media market) or Georgia Tech (great academics, terrific media market) or even Syracuse (great academics, even more of a NYC media influence than Rutgers).

When you acknowledge that the moves are all about money, they make sense.


*49ers find a QB: Alex Smith is solid, but Colin Kaepernick has the potential to be a star. Jim Harbaugh suddenly has a QB controversy, which qualifies as a "quality problem."

*Shabazz Muhammad's UCLA debut: Solid, with plenty of room for upside. But the real revelation is that Georgetown is much better than they were getting credit for (and Otto Porter is a star).

*David Beckham leaving LA Galaxy: By all accounts, his MLS career was a success, if not exactly something that propelled the league into the top tier. But it definitely helped.

-- D.S.

No comments: