Jim Delany and the Big Ten conference welcomed the Nebraska Cornhuskers into their ranks two years ago. Thanks to information from an unnamed source, the college football world learned they may have two more banners to hang in the league offices.
According to ESPN.com, the source reports, “that the Big Ten has been itchy about further expansion since Notre Dame made its official move to the ACC two months ago in all sports other than football. The source said the Big Ten can justify Maryland and then possibly Rutgers since they are all contiguous states to the Big Ten footprint.”
Not only would the Maryland Terrapins and Rutgers Scarlet Knights offer the Big Ten a proper geographical map, they would bring large television markets that would pump even more revenue into a conference already generating a tremendous amount. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, all Big Ten schools pocketed a record $24.6 million thanks to the conference’s shared revenue plan.
Maryland offers an extension of the conference’s brand in the Baltimore area via BTN and other Big Ten media while Rutgers offers the New York market. The Penn State Nittany Lions already helps the conference in terms of exposure in the Mid-Atlantic states.
If the two teams do join, it seems natural to expect two members of the current Leaders division to switch over to the Legends division to accommodate them. Indiana, Illinois and Purdue would likely be the three teams considered for a move.
Brandon Cavanaugh is a college football columnist for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter and join in on the conversation.