Much to the chagrin of many #B1G traditionalists, Maryland and Rutgers made the name of Penn State’s conference even less accurate by officially joining the Big Ten today.
As a refresher on what this means for football: In 2014, the Big Ten will contain East and West divisions as opposed to the now-retired Legends and Leaders. The distributions:
East: Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana
West: Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern
You can catch up on how else this affects Penn State here. In addition to that, the Washington Post reported yesterday that Maryland has already started talks about creating trophy games with both Penn State and Rutgers. From the Post:
In the Big Ten, Maryland will join a conference that loves tradition — and trophies. Twelve football matchups award hardware, such as the Old Oaken Bucket (Indiana-Purdue), Paul Bunyan’s Axe (Minnesota-Wisconsin) and a wooden turtle called the Illibuck (Illinois-Ohio State). The Terps have already entered conversations with Rutgers and Penn State to create new trophies, several athletic department officials said.
“That’s school to school,” [Big Ten commissioner Jim] Delany said. “It develops more organically. I’m not saying you can’t create a trophy. I think these rivalries will happen quite naturally based on a bad officiating call, a great individual performance, an upset, securing a championship. That’s really the stuff of memories. Memories translate into traditions.”
Remember, Maryland coach Randy Edsall recently threw a barb James Franklin’s way in response to Franklin’s dominating ambitions. Edsall has a lot of work to do to back up saying “talk is cheap,” as the Terps are 1-35-1 all-time against the Nits. Indirectly, Penn State already does compete for the Northeast’s Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy (which it’s won a cool 29 times and currently holds) against Maryland and Rutgers, and it will renew its competition for the Land Grant Trophy that Michigan State currently holds against the Spartans in this season’s finale.
One of the positives of Maryland’s and Rutgers’ additions to the #B1G is their rivalry potential, given their proximities to Happy Valley, so the continued pot-stirring is exciting. Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson said he wasn’t aware of these talks, so we’ll have to wait and see what kind of progress they make this summer. Penn State plays Maryland on Nov. 1 in Happy Valley.