Tuesday, July 1, 2014 marks the first day that Maryland (along with Rutgers) is an official member of the Big Ten. With the move official, according to the Washington Post, the Terps are already thinking of ways to establish rivalries with other conference opponents -- with trophies and everything.
The conference already has a handful of trophy games, 12 to be exact, but the Terps are looking to join the fray. From a geographic standpoint, Penn State is a logical choice. Rutgers too. In fact, according to the Post, the Terps "have entered conversations" with Rutgers and Penn State "to create new trophies."
The verbal jabs from new Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin and Maryland’s Randy Edsall toward one another this summer certainly can help stir things up among fan bases as well.
Franklin said at a Penn State coaches caravan event that Maryland won’t “have a chance” recruiting kids in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, Maryland’s home base. Edsall told reporters a few weeks later at a charity golf outing that “talk is cheap.”
Franklin and Edsall will get to settle things on the field when the Terps travel to Happy Valley on November 1. Penn State has dominated the all-time series between the two schools, winning 35 of 37 contests, but the two teams haven’t squared off since 1992. Maryland’s move has the chance to really spark a rivalry, especially if things are more competitive this time around.
Rivalries don’t evolve from just one game or the creation of a trophy, but as members of the Big Ten’s east division, the Nittany Lions and Terps will quickly become familiar with one another. Rutgers, also in the east division, fits into the equation, too. The Scarlet Knights will travel to Maryland for the season finale of both teams on November 29 – the teams’ first matchup since 2009.
“(Rivalries) develop more organically,” said Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. “I’m not saying you can’t create a trophy. I think these rivalries will happen quite naturally based on a bad officiating call, a great individual performance, an upset, securing a championship. That’s really the stuff of memories. Memories translate into traditions.”
Maryland’s first Big Ten game will be a road contest at Indiana on September 27. Rutgers’ first taste of Big Ten action comes at home against the Nittany Lions on September 13.
For more Maryland news, visit TerrapinSportsReport.com.
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