By chasing two mediocre schools near major ports, we may now confirm that the B1G is a cover for methamphetamine empire.—
(@edsbs) November 17, 2012
I had a turtle once, too, Big Ten. You'll forget to feed it, just like I did.—
sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) November 19, 2012
The Increasingly More Inaccurately Named Big Ten is set to add Maryland and Rutgers in the near future. As much as tradition is getting trampled on, I don’t blame the schools for moving on to a much bigger payday. In Maryland’s case, the move was out of necessity. After being forced to cut 7 sports teams due to years of athletic department budget bungling, it would be unwise to turn down Jim Delany’s $100 million “come-hither” look. Most solutions to budget mismanagement that doesn’t involve fees and taxes being slammed on students and state taxpayers is a win.
Throwing out the fiscal perspective and seeing the world only through sports, this move doesn’t make sense. By moving to a conference whose core is in the Midwest, Maryland loses its longstanding rivalries with more geographically-aligned schools. Maryland-Duke has grown into one of the ACC’s best basketball rivalries, and its unclear whether the Terps wish to continue annual games against Virginia.
Instead, Maryland gains annual trips to the Midwest, where it can compete against the likes of Minnesota and Indiana (though given the recent performance of the Terps’ football squad, this may be a blessing). Throw in traditional powers Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, et al, and one feels it will take a while for Maryland football to compete at the top of the Big Ten, if at all. Its men’s basketball program will be better off, and should be right up there with Indiana and Michigan State at the top of the conference from the get-go.
Maryland also gets to renew its football rivalry against Penn State, but I use the term “rivalry” loosely: Penn State leads the all-time series with a 35-1-1 record, with Maryland’s only win coming in 1961. Other than the Nittany Lions and Rutgers, there are no other obvious geographic football rivalries that exist or that can be developed over time. It will be a long time before we see if Maryland can develop conference rivalries in the Big Ten that have the same fervor of those it leaves behind in the ACC.
But let’s abandon the idea of conference realignment destroying traditional rivalries by celebrating college football’s rivalry week! On to the picks:
Texas over TCU: Wait, shouldn’t the Longhorns be playing A&M? Oh conference realignment, why can’t I escape your cold, slimy tendrils?
Nebraska over Iowa: Here’s a feel-good story for conference musical chairs. The second Battle for the Heroes Trophy begins, and Iowa will continue not to win it this year, or any year for a long time.
LSU over Arkansas: The prize: the Golden Boot. The following is presented below without comment:
(image from @thekeyplay)
Utah over Colorado: The Rumble in the Rockies is another example of a dormant rivalry renewed by the Pac-12’s finagling. The Buffaloes pray for a swift, quick end to a terrible season.
Washington over Washington State: The Huskies and Cougars battle for the Apple Cup. I am confused and infuriated that I can not find a picture of the trophy, and whether it is filled with delicious apples. Instead, here’s the first image that popped up in GIS:
Arizona over Arizona State: The winner of the Duel in the Desert gets the Territorial Cup. I’m not sure how one would fit a Territory into a Cup, but let’s not think about that question and let GIS do the thinking for us instead:
Virginia Tech over Virginia: The Hokies have won the Commonwealth Cup in the last eight matchups. In what hasn’t been a banner year for either of the state’s FBS programs, at least one constant still remains.
Northwestern over Illinois: These schools play for the Land of Lincoln Trophy. Were Abe Lincoln alive today, he, like the rest of us, still wouldn’t care about this game.
Georgia over Georgia Tech: It’s Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate folks, and perhaps the most malevolently named of all rivalries. Both are winners of their respective conferences’ divisions, but that’s about all that’s in common between the two. Final score: Bulldogs a lot, Yellow Jackets not nearly as much.
Ohio State over Michigan: I really really want Michigan to win this one, because no one wants Buckeyes everywhere to incessantly claim a national title.
Indiana over Purdue: The look and quality of the Old Oaken Bucket reflects how much the fanbases of each team have diverted their attention to basketball. Sure is a lot of Golden P’s, though.
Tennessee over Kentucky: Now a battle for a giant beer barrel, I can get behind! Unfortunately, while the Battle for the Barrel keeps its name, the giant trophy was discontinued after 1998’s game.
Oregon over Oregon State: The Civil War loses a bit of its luster after Oregon’s loss to Stanford last week, but both remain in the hunt for a Pac-12 North division title and a Rose Bowl berth. The Beavers have put together an unexpectedly great season, but Oregon will want to make up for lost points after only putting up 14 last week against Stanford.
Oklahoma over Oklahoma State: There will be lots of points to be scored in this year’s Bedlam game, and I’m not sure what the final result will be. I’m going with Oklahoma, only because that’s what I typed out first.
Florida State over Florida: First team to ten points wins.
Alabama over Auburn: Auburn might have a chance in the Iron Bowl if NO THERE IS NO HOPE ROOOOOOLLLLLLLL TIIIIIIDDDEEEEEE
Southern Miss over Memphis: First win of the year for Southern Miss in the Black and Blue Bowl? Only because I can’t bring myself to pick Memphis in anything football-related. Shocking though, that a team that finished 12-2 last year only has one more chance to pick up a single victory this year.
Stanford over UCLA: UCLA has already locked up a Pac-12 title game berth. If Stanford wins in the Rose Bowl this Saturday, they earn the right to play UCLA in the Rose Bowl again. Win again, and they get to play in the Rose Bowl again. Got it?
Clemson over South Carolina: The Palmetto Bowl participants battle for the Hardee’s Trophy. I’m not opposed to the name given the state’s restaurant selection, but the Waffle House Trophy is probably more appropriate, and free hash browns for the winning team seems a better prize.
Mississippi State over Ole Miss: Now we’re getting to the point where I can’t think of anything to write, so it’s throw “Ole Miss” into the Google machine and pick out the best picture time:
USC over Notre Dame: I know the uncertainty and chaos this will bring. I know this means a likely SEC vs. SEC matchup in the title game. I know people will hate it. I know I will hate it. But something weird needs to happen this Saturday, and this feels like it will be it.
San Jose State over Louisiana Tech: A fond farewell to the WAC. Though Utah State locked up the Forever WAC Conference Champion title last week, this should still be an entertaining nightcap for this week’s college football, and a good sendoff for a dying conference.
Last Week: 5-6. Season: 99-60.