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.
But the main rationale for adding the schools seems to be economic: the prospect that they would give the Big Ten, and its cable network, access to the New York and Washington media markets.
On that account, the decision may be questionable. Although Rutgers and Maryland are in densely populated areas, they also compete against a number of other Division I football programs for fans and attention.