The Big Ten as we once knew it is no more.
After the addition of Nebraska in 2011, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany was excited to introduce two divisions of the conference, the Legends and the Leaders, as well as a conference championship game at the end of the season between the teams with the best records out of each division.
Now the Big Ten is heading east with the divisions now being dubbed simply “East” and “West”.
Michigan State will get their first look at their new division rivals in back-to-back weeks this November.
Quarterback C.J. Brown will lead the Terrapins offense in their first Big Ten season. Brown may have a plethora of options to throw to, including former five-star recruits Stefon Diggs and Deon Long.
In 2012, Maryland was riddled with injuries, and finished 7-5, losing to Marshall in the Military Bowl.
On defense the Terps will have three senior linebackers starting.
The player to watch in the secondary for Maryland is sophomore corner William Likely
Offensively, the Scarlet Knights will be lead by junior running back Paul James.
The starting quarterback is likely to be senior Gary Nova, however the No. 2 and No. 3 of Rutgers will be looking to take over the starting job if they get the opportunity.
Rutgers finished 65th overall in passing yards in 2013, on their way to a 6-6 regular season record.
What the Spartans Need
On the road in Maryland will not be an easy test for MSU. In another night game, Connor Cook and the Spartans will go into unfamiliar territory with a lot on the line.
A loss late in the season may end any chances of a high caliber bowl, or an appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Also, Maryland and Rutgers are both in the East division, along with the Spartans. So a loss in either of these games will likely end any chance of playing for a Big Ten Championship.
There is no question Michigan State has more talent than the two Big Ten newbies, but the Spartans still have to play two football games.
If the ‘No Fly Zone’ of Michigan State can shut down the many options at wide receiver for the Terrapins, then Michigan State should sneak out of Maryland with a win.
Cook will aim to have a career day in his last outing at Spartan Stadium, and the green and white should have no trouble against the Rutgers on senior night.
Maryland:Spartan Redzone: Bradley: 27-21 MSU | Dan: 27-14 MSU
The Pact: Fino: | Yales: | Faith: 21-10 MSU | Austin: Lions Den: Higer: 24-20 MSU | Louis: Rutgers: Spartan Redzone: Bradley: 34-12 MSU | Dan: 23-17 MSUThe Pact: Fino: | Yales: | Faith: 24-7 MSU | Austin: Lions Den: Higer: 35-14 MSU | Louis:
Way-Too-Early Predictions:Jacksonville State (Aug. 29)Oregon (Sept. 6)Eastern Michigan (Sept. 20)Wyoming (Sept. 27)Nebraska (Oct. 4)Purdue (Oct. 11)Indiana (Oct. 18)Michigan (Oct. 25)Ohio State (Nov. 8)
Bradley Allen is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports