Tag Archives: Rutgers

Penn State gets an old rival back: Maryland to Big Ten; Rutgers likely

Getting B1Gger: Maryland, Rutgers to join Big TenExaminer.com
Look at this! I’ve come out of my Penn State blogging slumber. Sort of. More of that someday, but today the big story is that Penn State has (a) new neighbor(s) in the Big Ten Conference.

The University of Maryland has accepted an invitation to the Big Ten Conference, press conference at 3 p.m. The Terrapins will begin playing in 2014-2015. The Terps used to play the Nittany Lions in football annually. And get beat. Often badly.

Rutgers University is expected to join the conference tomorrow. Another old football opponent/doormat for PSU. Right now, the State University of New Jersey is having a strong season, ranked in the Big East.

These new additions are blatant money grabs for the Big Ten, anything else is secondary. The Big Ten hopes that having these two will get Big Ten Network on basic cable in the Washington D.C., New York and Baltimore television markets. Those are a lot of eyeballs. I don’t think BTN will break into basic cable in New York City, but certainly has a shot in North Jersey which is significant. A good portion of Maryland will likely put BTN on basic cable too. There will be battles over it, but it will eventually be sorted out. Being on the Sports Tier isn’t too bad either and I anticipate greater adoption of that for BTN.

If you are a Penn State fan (or Big Ten fan in the Mid-Atlantic for that matter) this news is bit mixed. Having two “traditional rivals” back on the schedule is good if the Big Ten is too Midwest centric. It is also good news because Penn State dominated those series. Both schools are on the Northeast Corridor and far closer than any of the existing Big Ten schools, especially for all of us who live near Interstate 95. The downsides — potentially and particularly in light of the NCAA sanctions (speaking of blatant power grabs) is that Penn State doesn’t have the argument of a stronger conference than the ones Maryland and Rutgers were in. Also, Maryland and Rutgers may get TV priority, so that could mean fewer Penn State games on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 though I don’t see that being that big a problem. Penn State is a bigger draw, even now, than those and tends to play in the later timeslots. That’s probably not that big a deal.

I anticipate the Big Ten will now break down strictly on geography for divisions, though I was joking they ought to have to divisions:

RED
Indiana
Maryland
Minnesota
Nebraska
Ohio State
Rutgers
Wisconsin
NOT RED
Illinois
Iowa
Michigan
Michigan State
Penn State
Purdue
Northwestern

By the way, if you want to be “subway alumni” here are the directions from the College Park UMd. Metro station to Byrd Stadium:


View Larger Map

A bit of a hike, but doable. Rutgers is not too far from Amtrak Northeast Corridor/NJ Transit either:


View Larger Map

2.8 miles — I don’t know New Brunswick/Piscataway, so I don’t know the practicality of walking from the train station. It is a nice idea though.

Really, I’ll write about Penn State football again sometime before the bowl game

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Another Rutgers to the Big Ten suggestion

DAVID JONES – Big Ten expansion talk? Again?Patriot-News
The Big Ten is looking at adding a 12th team again, but only over the next 12-18 months. The list of candidates is numerous but there is not another Penn State-type school out there that brings the complete package of tradition, academics, fanbase, new territory and television market to the table. Obviously, they’d love to add Notre Dame, but that seems unlikely unless NBC loses interest in broadcasting Fighting Irish home games. Jones thinks Rutgers is the best possible choice as it gets the latter two — the populous state of New Jersey as well as the gigantic New York television market. He oversells the campus (I’ve been there and it reminded me of George Mason) though. Rutgers football tradition pretty much amounts to two things, albeit great ones — birthplace of college football and Paul Robeson. I think Rutgers would be hard-pressed to do any better in the Big Ten than the Big East, so I would be surprised if they accept an invitation.

It would be nice having a natural rivalry for the Nittany Lions though.

Jones also points out why Pitt and West Virginia don’t make a lot of sense (no significant new TV markets and they don’t fit the Big Ten profile for campus or academics, respectively) to add. I don’t have strong feelings about it frankly and think in the end, the Big Ten is going to conclude that there is no ideal 12th team.

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Penn State-Rutgers resume series for 2014-15

Penn State and Rutgers to Renew Football Series in 2014-15Intercollegiate Athletics
When the Nittany Lions travel to Rutgers in 2014, it will be the first meeting between the two teams in 19 seasons. I was at that last meeting, played at Giants Stadium (my first Penn State football road trip), and missed the post-game argument between coach Joe Paterno and a guy who does not even have his own Wikipedia entry. Word to the wise, if you coach a program that has never won a bowl don’t mess with a guy who has won a couple of dozen.

Since that fateful meeting, two different men have coached the Scarlet Knights. Perennial Paterno successor candidate Greg Schiano is the current big cheese in New Brunswick (or is it Piscataway?) and easily the most successful one to date. Rutgers has gone to four straight bowl games, winning three in a row and was briefly in the top 10 in 2005 I think. That being said, I think the odds that Schiano will still be coaching at Rutgers then are probably lower than Paterno still coaching at Penn State. Schiano, a former Penn State assistant is thought to be campaigning for the job if/when it becomes available. By the way, the press release makes no mention of Schiano.

Rutgers expanded its on-campus stadium and seem awfully determined to use it, so the game being played in the new Meadowlands stadium seems unlikely at this time. Between 1981 and 2000, the Nittany Lions played in the Meadowlands something like nine times, including twice in 1996 (Kickoff Classic, their third and a relocated Temple game), making it a home away from home. They will likely have to settle for the birthplace of college football instead.

I am pleased to see this series being started again, but I won’t be surprised if it becomes an out-of-conference game that winds up being regrettable. Sustained Rutgers success has yet to occur in my life time and probably my grandmother’s too. This is the kind of road game I figure having a solid chance at getting tickets to attend though. We need more of these in addition to elite non-con scheduling.

Penn State is scheduled to host Rutgers in 2015. The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series 22-2, with the most recent loss being in 1988, Joe Paterno’s first losing season. Long-time Penn State assistant Dick Anderson was the Rutgers coach at the time.

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