Bobby Ross is still digesting the news that Maryland is moving to the Big Ten. Like many associated with the program when the football team was one of the best in the ACC, he is saddened by the move. Like many who follow college football, he is not surprised.
“I just see it as part of the collegiate culture. The Big Ten wants that market for TV and Maryland wants more money or else they wouldn’t be making that move,” Ross said from his home outside Richmond, Va., where he is retired.
“I think it’s money-driven, but I kind of hate to see it because there were some really great rivalries there. I still recall some of the great games we had, and basketball in the ACC was even bigger with Carolina and Duke.”
Ross said that the revival of the football series with Penn State, which Maryland hasn’t played since 1993, “is a positive note for all this” and believes the Big Ten could be a boon to the Terps in terms of recruiting in football.
Though it wasn’t much of a rivalry – the Terps were 1-29-1 when the series was played nearly uninterrupted between 1960 and 1993, when Maryland was crushed 70-7 at Memorial Stadium – Ross said current coach Randy Edsall can use it to his benefit.
“One of the things we used to advertise in our recruiting was that we were not too far away from around 50 million people with the location being where it was – with Ohio, Pennsylvania,” said Ross, who was 39-19-1 in five seasons as coach and won three straight ACC titles from 1983-1985.
Ross recalled taking his 1985 team to Michigan for a game. While Maryland wound up losing, 20-0, to the Wolverines – “We had a couple of fumbles inside the 5-yard line that cost us” – Ross said it was “a great experience for us.”
Ross said that he took his team to practice in “The Big House” the day before the game.
“We flew into Detroit and I didn’t realize how far it was to Ann Arbor,” Ross said. “We then came back and stayed right by the airport. It was a little bit of a bus ride that was probably not really smart on my part. But I wanted them to see the environment as far as the size and the magnitude of the stadium. It may or may not have been the right thing to do. I don’t think it cost us the game, but it does have an effect on you. I wanted them to get all the goo-goo eyes out of their system before we played.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun