Big Ten Conference Now Numbers 14

Big Ten Conference Now Numbers 14
  • Opening Intro -

    Since 1990, the Big Ten Conference has been composed of more than 10 members.


That hasn’t prompted the oldest Division 1 collegiate athletic conference to change its name, although it did update its logo to B1G, what denotes both the big and 10 in its name.

College Branding

Branding is important in America, no less so in college athletics. Penn State brought the conference’s number up to 11 in 1990 and Nebraska made it 12 members in 2011. This week, the Big Ten Conference welcomed Maryland and Rutgers, bringing the league’s membership up to its current 14 teams. Another school, Johns Hopkins University, is a lacrosse-only affiliate member. Even so, the Big Ten name is assured as it transcends both numbers and geography.

That geography has the conference connected from the nation’s midsection all the way to the east coast as both Rutgers (New Jersey) and Maryland, touch the Atlantic Ocean. Both schools tap important media markets too with Rutgers’ reach extending from New York to Philadelphia and Maryland from Baltimore to Washington, DC. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that these markets are lucrative and had a lot to do with the conference deciding once again to expand and to include these two public universities.

Festive Celebrations

Both universities began to celebrate their transition to the Big Ten on Monday, with Maryland hosting many of the mascots from Big Ten schools. Twitter lit up on Monday with photos of the mascots jumping, frolicking and holding arms in Washington, DC, including in front of the White House. The Terrapins also headed to the Under Armour Brand House in Baltimore, where an official launch of exclusive Maryland/Big Ten inaugural apparel was made. On Tuesday, the first official day for Big Ten membership, Maryland hosted an on-campus celebration on Mitchell Field.

Rutgers got in on the action on Tuesday by hosting an “R B1G Party” at High Solutions Field at 7 p.m. The two-hour event concluded with a fireworks display. The Scarlet Knights may have had the more limited celebration, but it was no less enthusiastic than what Maryland served up.

Louisville Heads to the ACC

While the Big Ten Conference receives Maryland and Rutgers, Louisville has made its way to the Atlantic Coast Conference, filling in the void left by charter member Maryland’s exit. The Cardinals, along with Rutgers, were former Big East Conference schools who had to wait out the year in the hurriedly-organized American Athletic Conference.

Like Maryland, Louisville hosted conference mascots on Monday as well. On Tuesday, the Cardinals held a press conference at 11 a.m. and hosted a Team USA watch party at Fourth Street Live! at 4 p.m. An ACC party followed the soccer game.

The Current Picture

With Louisville, Maryland and Rutgers joining a dozen or so other schools in making a transition to new conferences over the past few years, the athletic alignment picture appears to have finally settled. A few schools such as Connecticut and Cincinnati feel slighted and could transition to one of the Power Five conferences at some later date. For now, we’ll all grow accustomed to the new look of Division 1 sports and what impact these three teams will have on their respective athletic conferences.

See AlsoMaryland, Rutgers Make the Move to Greener Pastures


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Categories: Collegiate Sports