Patrick Stevens had some great thoughts on the latest round of conference shifting. As he argues, the next wave of potential conference moves may be flashy, but may not have much solid backing behind them. Take, for example, Maryland. For years, they've had to deal with being the northernmost team in the conference (until Boston College took that title away).
Even still, there's always been a chip on Maryland's shoulder because of their separation from the powers-that-be in North Carolina. So moving to the Big Ten would make the Terrapins more appreciated, right? Doubtful.
Well, College Park is still about a five-hour drive from league headquarters, so it was never that far away. And while I'm not a geography expert, I'm pretty sure Chicago (home of the Big "Ten" offices) is a bit longer haul from the Capital Beltway than Tobacco Road ever was.
Not only would Maryland be a geographic outlier, it would also have the second-smallest football stadium (ahead of only Northwestern) in a league constructed almost solely for football. Not exactly the way to exercise any clout.
From the moment the rumors began, Maryland joining the Big Ten has just seemed like an odd fit. The Big Ten's desire to tap into the D.C./Baltimore market is understandable, but Maryland wouldn't be gaining much from making the leap to the Big Ten. They certainly wouldn't have any more clout in conference meetings than they do with the ACC right now. In a conference that's always been about gridiron legacies, the Terps simply would not have a leg to stand on.
Some extra money would be nice, but that would have to be weighed against the added travel costs that would come from playing games in Wisconsin, Michigan and other Midwestern locales as opposed to playing teams that mostly reside in North Carolina,Virginia and Florida. Besides, yearly battles between Maryland and Penn State are not going to make up for losing Duke and their other ACC competition as rivals.
If Maryland wants to make a name for themselves, they should stick with the ACC. That's where Maryland's tradition lies and that's where their best chance to remain successful lies as well.