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11/21/2012 08:46 am ET

Expansion By Big Ten May Bring Small Payoff

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Maryland accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference on Monday. Rutgers did the same on Tuesday, expanding the conference’s roster to 14 teams and its footprint to the East Coast.

The new additions would bolster the Big Ten’s reputation for strong academics. Both universities are members of the Association of American Universities, as are all current Big Ten institutions, with the exception of Nebraska.

Their athletic heritages are mixed, however. The Rutgers football team has finished the season ranked in the Associated Press top 25 once in the last 35 years, although it is currently ranked No. 21.

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