Friday, July 18, 2014
Big Ten Expansion -- What Does It Mean For Hockey?
By Jessi Pierce
On July 1, the Big Ten Conference became home to 14. The University of Maryland and Rutgers are now official Big Ten members, with Johns Hopkins University joining on the men's lacrosse field (that should be interesting for the up and coming Big Ten D1 lacrosse schools...).
It's expansion that is surrounded by money, no doubt. Men's and women's lacrosse will expand into its own inaugural lacrosse season this year, a spot all too familiar for Big Ten hockey teams.
So what could it potentially mean for expansion on the ice? Probably not a whole lot.
Maryland and Rutgers both have men's and women's club teams in place. Rutger's men's team is a Division I American Collegiate Hockey Association team, like Penn State was prior. They also have D2 program. Maryland has D2 and D3 Club teams.
Aside from that, both schools would even the playing field geographically. Penn State is roughly 973 miles from the University of Minnesota, 711 from the University of Wisconsin and 388 from the University of Michigan. But the Nittany Lions have just a 197 mile bus ride to face the Terps in College Park, Md., and 227 to Rutgers in New Jersey.
Despite that, adding these two teams anywhere in the near future wouldn't be beneficial enough to the Big Ten. As we've said before, there are plenty of other schools in the conference that could make a better case for making the Div. I leap.
If I were to bet, Maryland and Rutgers would be on the bottom of the totem pole for having a hockey team. Still something interesting to keep an eye on....