For the Big Ten, it means more money. More territory. More TVs in more homes with the Big Ten Network.
For Penn State, the latest round of expansion means more familiar faces, some more convenient road trips for fans -- and yes, more money as well.
Maryland officially accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten on Monday with Rutgers expected to follow suit, perhaps as soon as today, according to multiple reports.
‚??It means the reinstatement of a great series and rivalry in many sports,‚?Ě said Penn State acting athletic director Dave Joyner, who played football and wrestled for the Nittany Lions against Maryland in the 1970s. ‚??It‚??s a terrific situation. I think it brings somebody right to our back door and extends the footprint of the Big Ten.‚?Ě
The Terrapins will officially join the conference in 2014, starting the league‚??s move toward the East that Joe Paterno had advocated for years. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said that Penn State encouraged the addition of Maryland to the league during a process that ramped up in the past three weeks.
‚??No arm-twisting, just collaboration,‚?Ě Delany said.
As an independent in football, Penn State played Maryland nearly every season from 1960-93, stopping when the Lions themselves joined the Big Ten.
‚??One of our great rivalries was Penn State,‚?Ě said Brit Kirwan, the chancellor of the University System of Maryland. ‚??There was great dismay when Penn State went to the Big Ten.‚?Ě
But that sort of nostalgia is far from the real reason the Lions and Terps find themselves together again, especially considering Penn State holds a 35-1-1 edge in the series all-time. So ‚??rivalry‚?Ě may not be the correct word.
Much more important is what the move can mean for Penn State, Maryland and the Big Ten financially.
The Big Ten‚??s addition of Nebraska back in 2010 was done to increase the league‚??s competitive profile, adding one of the nation‚??s most storied and successful football programs.
Maryland is far from that. What this move does accomplish is add a new state, a new region and more TVs into the Big Ten fold.
‚??A demographic decision,‚?Ě Delany said.
That means more revenue from the already lucrative Big Ten Network. Penn State and other Big Ten schools reportedly receive upwards of $24 million a year just from the network, and that number will increase with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers.
That‚??s especially attractive for Penn State, which is paying off a $60 million fine over the next five years. That stems from July‚??s NCAA sanctions, which also prevent Penn State from playing in bowl games and receiving its share of the league‚??s postseason revenue.
From a competitive standpoint, Penn State future schedules in football will begin to change significantly. Delany and Big Ten officials weren‚??t talking about Rutgers on Monday, but an ESPN report indicated that the football divisions will be slightly altered with this latest expansion.
The report said that both Maryland and Rutgers would join Penn State in the Leaders Division, while Illinois would likely swap over to the Legends Division to compensate.
Whereas Ohio State was typically the easiest Big Ten road game for fans to travel to for years, fans will now have two closer options. Penn State estimated that 33,000 alumni live in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area.
‚??It‚??s not that we never really felt we fit in the Big Ten,‚?Ě Joyner said on the Big Ten Network. ‚??But geographically, we got Ohio State who was very close. Now Maryland is half that distance. I think that‚??s just a natural extension geographically, and I think it brings home the Big Ten into the Eastern corridor. So I think it‚??s very positive.‚?Ě
What the proposed divisional shift does mean, however, is that Penn State could play many of the Legends Division teams far less frequently. That would include Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota and -- if the move happens -- Illinois. The Lions are currently locked in to play Nebraska every year.
Delany acknowledged that the expansion could eventually lead to a nine-game conference schedule -- up from the current eight -- so that some schools wouldn‚??t go six-plus years without facing each other.
All of that remains to be hashed out in the coming months. What does seem certain is that Penn State and Maryland will be back to playing each other year-in and year-out.
‚??Penn State‚??s got a partner now,‚?Ě Delany said. ‚??I think that‚??s great for them and it‚??s great for Maryland.‚?Ě
As expected, linebacker Michael Mauti will not play in Saturday‚??s season finale against Wisconsin because of a left knee injury, the program announced Monday.
Mauti was injured in the first quarter of Saturday‚??s game against Indiana on a chop block. He was carted off the field and did not return.
Penn State did not give details on Mauti‚??s injury, which is believed to be serious.
Sophomore Mike Hull replaced Mauti against the Hoosiers and will likely make his first career start against the Badgers.
Earlier in the day, fellow senior Matt McGloin was named Big Ten Co-offensive Player of the Week along with Michigan‚??s Devin Gardner. McGloin threw for a career best 395 yards and four touchdowns in a rout of the Hoosiers.
The Scranton native broke several Penn State records in the game, including career touchdown passes and single-season passing yards. He was just 5 yards shy of 400 and the single-game school passing record.
Coach Bill O‚??Brien, meanwhile, was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Football Club‚??s Coach of the Year award, which will be announced next month.