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.



November 21st, 2012 at 2:11 AM ^

I disagree about the Delaney working for Mich and OSU though. Penn State also has as many fans as Michigan, and the state of Michigan and Ohio are still small compared to Texas. A Michigan network would not be as profitable as the Longhorn network.

I do like the part about recruiting, and have no doubt it was a BIG part of the expansion. However, would he really put Ohio, Michigan, PSU, UMD and Rutgers in the same division? Thats the 5 most talented states in just one division. Long term thats not going to work.

Also, if he really wanted to recruit well, he would have put Penn State in the same division as Michigan because we recruit Pennsylvania a LOT.

In the end, I think Michigan will get one east coast team in its division.

End game? I think Delaney wants to make the Big Ten the richest, most profitable conference in the nation. That will naturally lead to winning

Pulled P

November 21st, 2012 at 2:31 AM ^

I wouldn't put it past Delany and Michigan/OSU to put the five states in the same division. It would probably upset a few teams, but I think the Michigan-OSU-Delany trifecta has the power and incentive to do so. Hey, if you split the B1G down the middle all 5 of them go to the east. And I'm not doubting PSU's clout, but within the B1G they're still relatively new and, if my prediction holds true they get to be in the East division too!

I totally agree that making the B1G the richest, most profitable conference in the nation is the end game. But it already is. The question is how does it maintain, and get even more profitable?

Pulled P

November 26th, 2012 at 6:07 AM ^

This is just a theory I came up with, and even if this really is Delany's end game, it may eventually turn out to be unfeasible. Plus it's hard to know how these things get sorted out in the B1G because you rarely hear about it. Presumably there's a phone call here and there, and all we see is Delany announcing and the presidents backing him unanimously.

Still, after the UMD and RU annoucement, who is the AD most actively talking to the media? It's our very own Dave Brandon. Makes sense if you think Michigan is the driving force behind this expansion. Supposedly Brandon started this with the (lukewarm? idk) approval of Gene Smith, then PSU wouldn't have a reason to oppose. That's the three biggest voices. If Delany pushes the plan to put Michigan, OSU, PSU with UMD and RU, then that could cause some bad blood with Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Iowa, like we saw in the Big12. Perhaps Delany offers up MSU as a sacrifice, and puts Sparty in the West. (to which Wisc-Neb-Iowa probably responds with a McKayla not-impressed)

I admit I didn't closley examine the academic angle and other sports except the explanations given to us — AAU members, UMD is a good basketball school, etc. But what we do know is, football programs feed the rest of the athletics and the Michigan-OSU football combo is what makes the B1G the most successful conference in the land. That combo doesn't get to trump everything, but at least we know that's probably where the momentum is coming from.

Go Blue NJ

November 21st, 2012 at 6:12 AM ^

The obvious benefit is the addition of the NY and DC demographics for the B1G Network which may potentially increase the revenue for all of the schools in the conference. However, what David Brandon and the other ADs really received with the addition of RU and MD was a grip on their east cost Alumni and their pocketbooks.

They now have a "product" for potential donors and to develop a fan base of east coast non-alumni, think ND. Brandon can now sell merchandise and create new fans by bringing an annual game day experience to east coast Alumn and their families and friends. More importantly these athletic departments can create large fundraising tours around those games. Think DB dragging Hoke/beilein around to high priced per plate dinners a la presidential politics.

Given the scheduling nightmare this will be i figure DB will make sure there is at least one driving distance football game per year for those in the northeast/mid Atlantic at either PSU/RU/MD. The truth is that a game at MetLife will be a Michigan home game.

So, smart move for the business of college football at the expense of tradition. Just protect the State and Ohio games and I'll adjust to all others. Go Blue and Beat Ohio!

Pulled P

November 21st, 2012 at 7:43 AM ^

If the end game is just the east coast alumni, then wouldn't it be easier to just schedule one east coast OOC game every year? Extending membership seems like a very steep price to pay for just that.

And Delany is repeatedly being quoted that this expansion is about demographics. Pundits seem to interpret this as TV sets, but it may have to do more with recruiting as I said above. Also there's already talk about moving games to the MetLife and Yankee Stadium and more surprisingly, whether it was a prerequisite for conference entry(it wasn't).


November 21st, 2012 at 6:12 AM ^

If this came to pass with either Maryland and Rutgers, the South Carolina story would suggest that those fanbases will certainly have to give it some time. During their time as an independent from 1971-1991, the Gamecocks averaged a 6-5 record, and although the cumulative average since their entrance into the SEC is almost no different (6-6), if you break this up, into their period of growing pains in the 1990s, they averaged a 4-8 record, but from 2000 to now, it is 7-5, which is substantially better.

Further, it tells at least a little of the story of how the acclimation to the SEC did eventually make them a competitive team, especially lately. It did take them a while though and those first several years of Gamecock football in the SEC were not pretty. I have a feeling the same might hold for the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights - for some reason, especially the Terrapins. They might suffer a dip initially, but eventually - not sure how long the adjustment would take - they could carve out a niche in the conference, if you will. 


November 21st, 2012 at 8:05 AM ^

You guys have it all wrong.  It's not about football; it's about lacrosse.


Kidding aside, it is interesting how this all could play out with other sports, including lacrosse:

(Judging from the photo in the linked story, it's not just in football that Maryland wears god-awful uniforms.)


November 21st, 2012 at 9:01 AM ^

There is no real logic to which schools are football powerhouses, and which are not. Decades ago, Minnesota had a long run of sustained success. Now they're terrible. There is no logical reason for Kentucky to excel at basketball and suck at football, rather than the other way around. It just IS.

But once you have a powerhouse program, there are enormous structural advantages that allow it to stay that way. That's why schools like Michigan, Alabama, and USC are never down for long, and why Penn State will be a premier program again, eventually.

Building that sort of program is rarely accomplished. Paterno did it at Penn State. Bowden did it at Florida State. Somewhat uniquely, Miami did it not with one great coach, but rather a sequence of them. Still, it takes many years to build up the kind of success where it becomes self-sustaining.

South Carolina is still at around .500 all-time, with a 5-12 record all-time in bowl games. They've never been to a BCS bowl and have finished in the top 10 just once in their history. They've never won an SEC title, and their only division championship, in 2010, came in an unusually weak year, when their conference record was just 5-3. South Carolina still has a LONG way to go.