The Rutgers Board of Governors is set to meet this morning before the usual trustees meeting and everyone believes that the closed door part of the meeting agenda is the approval (or not) of the Scarlet Knights to pick up new playdates aka Michigan State, Penn State, Minnesota, Iowa and the rest. Also expected to make the decision to join the Big Ten is the University of Maryland as there are currently no turtle-styled mascots in the Big Ten yet.
The choice is clear for Rutgers -- the Big East is disintegrating yearly and the Big Ten is a top flight and fairly stable conference. Teams leave FOR the Big Ten, not from it. While in Maryland's case the ACC is more stable it still is experiencing turnover. This also gives the Big Ten something it has long wanted, an in to the east coast and NYC media markets.
Each new school brings something to the table athletically. Maryland is a traditional power in basketball while Rutgers would more than be holding their own in the Big Ten football this year. The part Rutgers fans wouldn't like much is the basketball aspect. The Scarlet Knight five have already lost to MAAC team St. Peters and the Big Ten has three teams in the top ten nationally. One you'd expect to be there, Michigan State simply shows up at the Final Four so often Tom Izzo gets frequent coaching miles. So Big Ten hoops will force Rutgers to step up their recruiting game which in the end is a good thing.
But how will the Big Ten rejigger their stupid "Leaders and Legends divisions"? See in the Big Ten you can't have and east and west or north and south conference, no they hired consultants who somehow landed on Leaders and Legends. It's silly yes, while former Nebraska head football coach Tom Osborne is a leader and a legend he never coached much in the Big Ten but the Big Ten Network still hypes him like he did. So where is Johnny's guess they land in the brave new 14 team Big TEN?
LEGENDS: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern
LEADERS: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
We'd guess Maryland to the Legends and Rutgers to the Leaders. We say Rutgers to the Leaders as no doubt the Big Ten will want some kind of Penn State-Rutgers rivalry, ie New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania. This of course is nothing but wild speculation at the current time. Rivalry games and crossover games will of course factor into scheduling/slotting.
Confused? Well take heart and enjoy the ride. Connecticut and Syracuse fans pay attention, you're next.