The Terrapins were already an afterthought most years with the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels dominating the attention in the ACC. Look no further than this season for the most recent example as Maryland was ranked 6th in the ACC Preseason Coach’s Poll. Meanwhile the team has begun the season looking very strong taking the Kentucky Wildcats to the wire and blowing out their two other games.
From a competitive stand point, the move makes a lot of sense. After having to worry about the Blue Devils, Tar Heels and the consistent rotation of teams stepping up in the ACC, a move to the Big 10 would instantly see easier competition. Not to mention the Terrapins are about to watch three very good former Big East programs about to make things a lot harder in their current conference.
The chance of conference titles greatly increases with the move, especially with coach Mark Turgeon proving he can build a winner over his career. The Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans are very good programs but they aren’t Duke and North Carolina. The Indiana Hoosiers are a good program but they haven’t been on Syracuse’s level over the past decade. The rest of the teams in the Big 10 don’t scare Maryland like the rest of the teams in the ACC could. Life would be a lot easier in the Big 10.
Factor in Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame coming into the conference and Maryland has to wonder how much more of an afterthought they’d become. Syracuse and Notre Dame will always get attention based on their names. The media will be all over Syracuse next season and how the powerhouse is going to adjust to live against Duke and North Carolina. Notre Dame will get attention whether they are good or bad, simply because they are Notre Dame. While Pittsburgh won’t be forgotten about either with the teams Coach Jamie Dixon keeps producing every year.
The point being, Maryland was already sick of hearing about Duke and North Carolina every year and they know it’s only going to get worse with the Big East trio coming in. Throw in the competitive aspect, and the move starts to make a lot of sense.
If Maryland wants a chance at more conference titles and becoming more relevant each year, why wouldn’t they move? It’s time the Terrapins step out of the shadows of North Carolina and Duke, making sure to do it before Syracuse turns them into a greater afterthought in the conference.