Conference Realignment – Good or Bad for the B1G?

We’ve been hearing a lot about how the B1G is selling out and diluting it’s brand by adding Maryland and Rutgers. Sure, it’s clear that these schools aren’t Ohio States or Michigans, or even Nebraskas or Penn States (though that’s probably a good thing!), but are these teams really that bad for the league? Let’s take a look at some historical numbers to see how these teams match up against the rest of the B1G.


National Titles:

Maryland – 2 (1951, 1953)

Rutgers – 1 (1869)

Indiana – 0

NU – 0

Purdue – 0

Wisconsin – 0

Comment: To be fair, 1869 was the first year of college football. There were only 2 teams (Princeton was the other), and both teams consider themselves national champions as they played a two game series, each winning one game. Still, it is kind of cool that they are tied for the oldest program in history. This is more just to point out that there are 4 teams in the B1G who don’t have a “rich” history.

Bowl Records (Win %):

Rutgers – 5-2 (71.4%)

Purdue – 9-7 (56.3%)

Maryland – 11-11-2 (50%)

Wisconsin – 11-12 (47.8%)

Illinois – 8-9 (47.1%)

Michigan State – 8-14 (36.4%)

Minnesota – 5-9 (35.7%)

Indiana -3-6 (33.3%)

NU – 1-9 (10%)

Comment: Maryland has attended 24 bowl games, more than any other team listed here. Also, all five of Rutgers bowl wins have come since 2006.

Conference Titles:

Maryland – 11 (9 ACC, 2 Southern Conference)

Iowa – 11 (B1G Conference)

NU – 8 (B1G Conference)

Michigan State – 7 (B1G Conference)

Rutgers – 3 (Middle Atlantic Conference)

Indiana – 2 (B1G Conference)

Comment: Minnesota hasn’t won conference title since 1967, when it tied with Indiana for the B1G crown.

All-Time Records (Win %):

Purdue – 586–508–48 (53.4%)

Maryland – 611-535-43 (53.2%)

Iowa – 598–529–39 (53.0%)

Illinois – 577–536–49 (.518)

Rutgers – 626-605-42 (50.2%)

NU – 489-622-44 (44.2%)

Indiana – 450–616–45 (42.5%)

Comment: Purdue barely edges out Maryland for all-time win percentage, and the top 5 listed here are all fairly comparable. There is a clear drop off with NU and Indiana.


So sure, These teams aren’t going to be winning the league title any time soon, but are they comparable to the rest of the B1G? Yes. Do they have more history and tradition than a team like Northwestern or Indiana? Arguably yes. Does adding more mediocre teams give the top dogs a better chance of going undefeated and representing the B1G in a playoff for the national title? Yes. And oh yeah, it will probably give each team some more money too.

So is this a bad thing for the conference? I say, it can’t hurt.

And what does it mean for NU? Less times we have to play Ohio State and Penn State (assuming no division shifts), and a better shot of making the title game. Works for me.

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