Rutgers or Maryland: The next South Carolina?

Submitted by Geary_maize on November 20th, 2012 at 9:33 PM

South Carolina was pretty similar to Maryland or Rutgers. A flagship public school with good in-state talent. Decent some years, bad others, but usually just mediocre and irrelevant. Whatever tradition they had in football, it was nothing special. Most of their good recruits went to Florida or Alabama.

But then, with the SEC money really kicking in around the early 2000's they upgraded their facilities and hired the ol ball coach. Now they're able to retain some in-state recruits and are ranked #12. Some of their key players, like Marcus Lattimore and Jadaveon Clowney, are from South Carolina.

So given the resources of the B1G and the in-state talent of New Jersey and Maryland, isn't it possible for them to copy South Carolina? Just look at the talent from those states the past 2 years. Henri Poggi, Steffon Diggs, Kendall Fuller, Eli Woodard, Yuri Wright, Darius Hamilton, Devin Fuller, Ronald Darby, Cyrus Kouandjio, Blake Countess. 

Sure we have absolutely no tradition with them but I'm pretty sure ranked teams are ranked teams and always fun to play. I don't see why they can't be ranked consistantly 15~30 if they can keep some of their talent, upgrade their facilities, and hire a decent coach. They'll be earning 2x or 3x the amount of money of their ACC recruiting rivals.


Mmmm Hmmm

November 21st, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

It seemed that Edsall made the best of a bad situation at UConn (they did end up winning the Big East the year we beat them in the opener).  That does not mean that Edsall is a good coach, but I am not sure he has gotten enough of a chance given all his quarterbacks getting injured this year.

I agree with you that there is also no evidence that Edsall is Spurrier, either.


November 21st, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

Hoke had 1 bad year at SDSU before turning that program around and trouncing Navy at the Poinsettia Bowl.  I figured it took him longer at Ball State since that was his first time being a HC (hiring coordinators, dealing with more bureaucracy, figuring out exactly how to run a program etc...) in addition to having to turn that program around.

Maryland's issue wasn't really the hiring of Edsall, it was the firing of "The Fridge" (as some of my friends that went there lovingly call him). He wasn't a bad coach, Maryland just got ansty looking for the next "new it guy".


November 21st, 2012 at 10:09 AM ^

Led Duke to an ACC title while he was head coach there.  The only ACC conference title they've won since 1962.

Florida joined the SEC in 1933.  Between 1933 and when Spurrier arrived they 'won' 3 SEC titles (had to vacant all due to ncaa violations).  From 1990-2001 while Spurrier was head coach they won 6 SEC titles and their first NC.

At South Carolina he led them to the first ever ranking in the Top 10 at the end of the season last year and has a chance to do it again this year.

So the 3 colleges that he's coached at have essentially enjoyed some of, if not, the greatest success they've had in the last 50 years.  I'd say that's a pretty good coach.

Perkis-Size Me

November 20th, 2012 at 9:40 PM ^

If they can hire coaches that have won national titles and/or coached in the NFL, then I'll listen. But right now, neither of those schools have remotely close to that kind of allure.


November 20th, 2012 at 9:44 PM ^

Rutgers and Maryland will be what is known in the WWE as "jobbers" or "enhancement talent."  They will lose often and affirm the greatness of the better teams in the conference.  And, of course, they will bring a lot of TV sets to BTN.  

Buzz Your Girlfriend

November 20th, 2012 at 9:46 PM ^

I think they'll both be like Northwestern/Illinois level. Usually middle of the pack but sometimes they'll catch a team off guard and lay the upset. I'm mostly upset about what 14 teams will do to the Big 10 and the tradition of playing a lot of the current Big 10 teams, not how good/bad Rutgers and Maryland are.


November 21st, 2012 at 8:29 AM ^

I agree completely. I don't mind adding new teams to the conference and, hey, they can't all be PSU, Nebraska, Texas and ND! But I will miss playing Purdue and Penn State regularly. Maybe we should go to a twelve game conference schedule and eliminate non-conference games. Sixteen teams in four conferences. You only miss three teams from your other division. Then four championship games then a tradiationally selected bowl season concurrent with a four-team playoff. I'd trade games vs. Central and UMass for that.

Ah, but I digress.


November 20th, 2012 at 9:58 PM ^

UVA, Penn St., and WVU routinely steal a lot of good talent out of both states and recently, the SEC has poached some high quality talent like Joe Haden, Jelani Jenkins, Will Hill, etc. Ohio State has had a presence in these states as well. 

The point is that Rutgers and Maryland have been mediocre programs and let a lot of talent get out of the state, both of which have sizable pools to select from. Ditto for basketball. Maryland has respectable high school football right now, but New Jersey has even more untapped potential, IMO.

I don't know if they're going to be the next South Carolina, but it may not be a bad comparison. I don't see these schools becoming powerhouses, but I think that if they can be seen more on television and can upgrade their facilities, they can be at least Iowa or Northwestern-like. 


November 20th, 2012 at 10:23 PM ^

If being in the Big Ten allows Rutgers to tap into their own back yard more for top talent, then they can definitely be a player in the conference.  Illinois is a good comparison.  I would even go as far to say that they should better than Illinois.  IU is surrounded by UM, ND and OSU and has to battle those schools to keep the elite players in the state.  Rutgers has PSU nearby, but I don't think they are much of a recruiting threat right now with the major sanctions and that should help Rutgers alot.

Steve in PA

November 21st, 2012 at 11:55 AM ^

And this is another reason I think both of these additions weaken the conference overall.

I see Rutgers being more successful than MD.  Their AD was on Sirius on my way to work and he was talking about how they turned the tide a few years ago and ar starting to keep kids instate and thinks that offering players he opportnity to play in the B10 will only accelerate that trend.

This will certainly come at the expense of PSU who has almost owned NJ in the past and will be suffering under sanction for many years to come.


November 20th, 2012 at 10:55 PM ^

The Cocks had a much bigger stadium that they filled even when they were atrocious at football.  Then they hired two hall of fame coaches in a row and after about a decade with those two guys at the helm they finally had an upper echelon team in the SEC.

I don't see a similar scenario playing out here in the B1G.


November 20th, 2012 at 11:43 PM ^

Actually, even as recently as 2009, South Carolina had attendence issues, averaging 8000 fans less than capacity.

Also, South Carolina fans at least got to see Florida, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia on a regular basis. Unlike the crapola that has been visiting Maryland or Rutgers lately.


November 21st, 2012 at 12:02 AM ^

I really don't think it's fair to castigate the east coast schools for not having huge football cathedrals like the schools in the midwest and the south. Do we sit around pissing on the 8 Pac-12 schools with football stadiums under 70,000 seats? College football is never going to be as big on the coasts as it is here and that's fine... if Oregon can become Oregon in a 54,000 seat stadium there's nothing stopping Maryland or Rutgers. 


November 20th, 2012 at 11:11 PM ^

Did I just realize correctly that Randy Edsall just backed into a Big Ten head coaching position?  Or has he...or will excused of his duties before it all kicks in...?


November 20th, 2012 at 11:27 PM ^

Thread summary: No, until they do. Then, yes.

Rutgers could do it. So much talent coming out of New Jersey/York and landing at USC or in the SEC. A good coach coming in and just locking down the kids from Bosco could make them into the next South Carolina.

Pulled P

November 21st, 2012 at 2:01 AM ^

I'd start a new thread if I could but since I can't and I'll post it here:

What is the end game here? Is it, as the OP is assuming, to make RU or MD another USCe? Why? Sure, RU and/or MD would be thrilled, but why would Delany do that? The more important question is - who is making decisions here? What is the goal of that said decision-maker(s)?

The easy answer is Delany and he's doing it for money. But really, who is Delany working for, and does that boss demand short-term profits from him? If Delany does a lousy job, who fires him? All the B1G presidents? No. It's basically Michigan and OSU. Just look at the crude fan numbers that Nate Silver charted. OSU and Michigan are one, two in the whole nation. And if Michigan and OSU really wanted short term profit, they'd do something akin to the Longhorn network and squeeze every penny out of the B1G network. Oh, it's possible. Who is there to stop them? MSU? They're lucky to be in the B1G. PSU is, and will always be an outsider when it comes to B1G decision-making, and they won't be able to persuade Wisconsin and Iowa to side with them against the Michigan-OSU controlling party. So the way I view it, Delany largely works for Michigan and OSU, and what Michigan and OSU wants isn't really the short term profits. Then what could M&O possibly want? Of course, they want LONG TERM PROFITS! The way they structured the B1G network contract where everybody gets a fair share of money, you could even argue M&O is giving money away to the likes of Minnesota and Purdue. But it helps maintain conference stability. And in the eyes of M&O, maintaining conference stability is more profitable long term than squeezing every penny out of the little 10 short term.

So establishing viewership in the NE TV markets definitely is a step in that direction, long term profits. Or is it? The problem with that is, as Brian and a lot of others pointed out, it's not a given those NE TV money would roll in after a few years. And even if it does, you'll have to divide it by 14, minus the investment and the exit fees. Doesn't exactly scream long term profts, especially for the two B1G decision-makers. Furthermore, Delany isn't stupid. He knows adding RU and MD is going to dilute the whole product, which will NOT help with the long term profits. Then why?

My theory is, Michigan and OSU want long term profits, but not in the way you think(TVs). Did you watch the 60 minutes segment, where alabama tripled its revenue after hiring Nick Saban? What changed? Yes, they won national championships. I think Michigan and OSU want to secure long term profits by winning championships, or at least coming close to it. Now, how it the world does adding MD and RU help M&O win championships? That's the tricky part. I think it's two prong. The first prong's been well documented, the power game where B1G has more influence on the playoff format, which will presumably help Michigan and OSU. The second prong, which people mention a lot but not in the vein of Michigan and OSU specifically is, recruiting. YES, I said it, Delany is doing this to help Michigan and OSU recruit 5 star kids. Far-fetched? Ridiculous? Perhaps. But the midwest from a recruiting perspective is in a dire situation. They can field a competitive team, but admit it, they're short on blue-chip talent. The Northeast has some blue chip talent. Not a lot, but probably enough to satisfy Michigan and OSU, and hopefully enough to vault one of them into a national championship game. And my guess is, Michigan and OSU will not be willing to share that blue chip talent with other B1G teams, unlike they do with the B1G network money.

So here is where the division alignment comes in. In my humble opinion, Michigan and OSU will be paired with the east teams, PSU, MD, and RU. Maybe not immeidately, but probably sooner than later. And those rumors where the B1G will strong arm RU and MD into playing their home games in larger stadiums such as MetLife against M&O, I think they'll turn out to be true. And the B1G will likely have a heavy hand in MD and RU's decision-making, because they'd want to get them to at least a competitive level. You think Delany won't do that? Hey, that's what a B1G membership and the subsequent bailout money buys for you these days.