University of Maryland athletics have competed in the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) since 1953. One of the core schools to join the ACC, Maryland will now the leave conference it has called home for 59 years and head to the Big Ten Conference. This decision is sad because of the storied history involving Maryland and the ACC, but it is necessary for Maryland athletic department to get back on its feet.
Because of the rivalry between schools such as North Carolina and Duke, the ACC is always recognized as one of the best basketball conferences in the nation. The ACC is always strong in sports such as lacrosse and soccer as well, but money does not come from soccer, lacrosse or even basketball. The money in college athletics is in football, where the ACC is merely average.
Florida State and Clemson are the ACC’s lone representatives in the Associated Press’ top 25 college football poll. The Big Ten, the conference Maryland will join in 2014, is a much better football conference. Maryland will play schools such as Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Ohio State, all schools with proud football traditions, and all schools that sell tickets.
Maryland had to make this move. The Maryland athletic department is in financial trouble; they were forced to cut seven sports from their program. With the move to the Big Ten, Maryland will have enough revenue to be able to reinstate these seven programs. Maryland will make approximately 100 million dollars in added revenue with the change of scenery.
The move to the Big Ten was necessary. The added freedom the Maryland will have by moving makes it worth it. While I will miss watching Maryland basketball playing teams such as Duke in Cameron Indoor, the Big Ten’s basketball teams are no slouches, either.
Indiana, a member of the Big Ten, is the number one college basketball team in the nation. The Maryland football team will be forced to get better, or else they will get embarrassed year in and year out. Byrd Stadium will attract more fans because instead of playing a pedestrian football team like Duke, Michigan will be coming into College Park instead. The quality of soccer and lacrosse may decrease slightly but in the end, it is all about football, and Maryland made the right move.