I've long been pointing out that Republicans devote too much attention and money to college football. College football trails only golf in the civic-mindedness / Republicanism of its fans. Since the chances of getting them to cut back are nil, I am a booster of luring Democrats into this time and money pit.
But the main rationale for adding the schools seems to be economic: the prospect that they would give the Big Ten, and its cable network, access to the New York and Washington, D.C., media markets.
On that account, the decision may be questionable. Although Rutgers and Maryland are in densely populated areas, they also compete against a number of other Division I football programs for fans and attention.
Moreover, affinity for college football is considerably lower on the East Coast than it is in the Midwest or the South. Thus, the schools have fewer fans than most other current Big Ten members.
The relative lack of big time college football in the power corridor from Boston to DC leaves Northeastern men with more time on their hands to get up to no good, with both liberalism and, especially, neoconservatism as major outlets for male aggression and tribalism.
In contrast, I'm reminded of Robert Novak, the late Washington D.C. political reporter, who never succumbed to the neoconservative urge, much to the rage of other Republican Jews such as David Frum, who labeled Novak "unpatriotic" for his lack of enthusiasm about the Iraq Attaq. Novak, a working class Jew who loved the rough and tumble of domestic politics, simply inherited his foreign policy views from his better educated old WASP partner Rowland Evans, and channeled his personal aggressiveness not into rooting for war in the Middle East, but into fanatical support for the U. of Maryland basketball team.