The article is here on his NYT blog.
Maryland and Rutgers are not necessarily poor choices compared with some of the other logical alternatives.
I count five other universities that are A.A.U. members, that play in a major college football conference, and that are either within a current Big Ten state or border one.
And the conclusion:
It is probably no coincidence that the two most popular college football conferences – the Southeastern and the Big Ten – have until now been the most conservative about expansion. The most recent additions to the Big Ten, Penn State and the University of Nebraska, ranked as the 3rd and 18th most popular football programs in the country. The newest additions to the Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M and Missouri, were ranked 6th and 23rd.
Rutgers and Maryland are outstanding public universities – but they are just not in the same league in terms of football.
The Big Ten may have expanded the size of its revenue pie, but it will be dividing it 14 ways rather than 12, and among family members that have less history of sitting down at the table with one another. In seeking to expand its footprint eastward, the conference may have taken a step in the wrong direction.