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Thursday, February 13, 2014
Maryland fans share thoughts on B1G move

By Brian Bennett

Earlier this week, we asked Maryland and Rutgers fans to share their thoughts on the move to the Big Ten. Here are some of the responses from Terrapins fans (we'll feature some comments from the Scarlet Knights supporters on Friday). These are your new brethren, Big Ten fans. Get to know them. And try to play nice.

Kevin from N.Y.: Are [we] excited about the move? Yes and no, from a Maryland point of view. Most of us loved the ACC, especially in basketball, where we had our traditional rivalries like Duke, UNC and Virginia. But the old ACC isn't the new ACC, and with no equal round-robin scheduling and ACC trying to pair us up with Pitt (with whom we have no history), well, it wasn't the same. I would say in football we are more excited, playing new teams in bigger stadiums. But expectations are all over the place. Some think we won't win more than a handful of games, more now feel that the Big Ten is down and we have a lot of returning starters and we can win seven to eight games. Honestly, I can't say that anyone is itching to go to the Midwest, especially in cold weather, to see B1G football. Die-hard fans who want to experience full stadiums will go the first year, but after that, I don't know.

Marshall M. from Omaha: Growing up in Maryland, my 12-year-old self cried when Juan Dixon and Gary Williams cut down the nets with a win over Indiana and rejoiced when roly-poly Ralph Freidgen led the Terps and flummoxed Tennessee and West Virginia in bowl games. But those memories have faded with the arrival of directionless coaches, the dismissal of a directionless AD, and the loss of top recruiting talents like Jalen Tabor recently and the Harrison twins last summer. I already miss the good-natured hatred that brewed for Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, and Florida State, and am afraid Maryland is about to be relegated to also-ran status for a long time to come.

John from Harrisburg, Pa.: I am very excited about Maryland joining the B1G. Not only will the athletic department finances increase, the research funding will aid the university. Salaries of Penn State professors increased dramatically after joining the B1G. Hopefully, Maryland will see the significant changes at the university, not just athletics. Being a season football ticket holder since the first year of Coach Vanderlinden, I'm excited to see the stadium filled (even if it will be opposing fans) like it was in the early 2000s. It will be fun to see new traditions like "Jump Around" at Wisconsin. It will be great to play PSU every year. Maybe, just maybe, Maryland can double the win total against PSU in the near future. Nov. 1, 2014 has been marked on my calendar for quite a while.

Doron T. from Chapel Hill, N.C.: As a Class of 2011 alum from Maryland who spent a year working in the Ohio State athletic department after graduation, I am excited about the move to the Big Ten. Games against premier opponents in all sports will still be awesome even if I will miss some of the familiar faces in the ACC. We Maryland fans are loyal to a fault, believing in our teams in the face of all reason and statistics, but when you're a Terp, you're a Terp for life. Yes, sometimes we're rude or brash, but the media completely blows it out of proportion; in general, you will have a wonderful time at one of our games since fans are boisterous and knowledgeable -- just don't expect to get the red carpet, either. As the move to the B1G has gotten closer, we have become more disenchanted with our current home so I think you'll see many fans happy to join similar schools in our new one. I'm looking forward to creating new rivalries, visiting new campuses, and making new memories with our Big Ten brethren. College Park is getting better, too, so if you come visit, check out Franklin's on Rt. 1, Looney's, Ledo's Pizza and Marathon Deli -- featuring the world's greatest fries!

Jonathan from Washington, D.C.: I'm a proud Terp alumnus. While I understand the move to the B1G from a financial standpoint (and an academic one as well, seeing as how Maryland is joining the Committee on Institutional Cooperation), I despise it from an athletic standpoint. Well, maybe despise is too hard a word. It just stinks. It doesn't really help Maryland from an athletic standpoint. From a football point of view, it's a loser in my book. I understand this move will raise Maryland's profile nationally, as more people will be able to see Terps games. However, Maryland has never been a football school -- it has had moments where it contended on a national scale (1953 national champions, 2001 ACC champs, among others), but it has never been consistent. While some of the matchups are appealing -- nice to restart the hatred of Penn State (commence the family trash-talking) -- it will all feel forced for a while. There's no history in these matchups, no anger at slights (real or perceived). On top of that, I can't see the Terps rising very high in the B1G. In the ACC, they could. I could very much be wrong; only time will really tell.

Dustin from Charleston, S.C, writes: I know we are going to do great things in the Big Ten, but I am a little disappointed that we left the ACC. I have always been a huge ACC fan, so it will be difficult to start rooting against the ACC. However, I will have no problem rooting against the rest of the Big Ten.