Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten, what does this mean? Well, if we are talking academic they are both members of the Association of American Universities which is an elite membership of the Top 60 American schools. The only Big Ten School not a member of the AAU is Nebraska.
Regarding the two major sports, football and basketball, Maryland and Rutgers don't bring elite championship level programs. But Maryland Basketball is tough and has good history with 1 National Championship in 2002 and a couple Final Fours. They haven't been extremely successful as of late, but I would put them on the same level of Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, and Iowa.
What this move really does is give the Big Ten more revenue and in the TV deal arms race you can't have enough media markets. The market areas both Maryland and Rutgers bring are top-level. Rutgers will bring the New Jersey and New York markets (can't get much bigger than that) and Maryland brings Washington D.C. and Baltimore markets. With more revenue dollars split among each school, Big Ten fans can expect more resource to increase competition nationally.
Maryland and Rutgers will be going to the Leaders Division when then enter the Big Ten Conference in 2014. In order to balance the divisions out Illinois will be heading to the Legends Division. New Leaders Division: Indiana, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin. New Legends Division: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern. How many conference games with each B1G team have? Right now there are eight conference games (5 division games, 1 protected outside division game (which will change), and 2 rotating outside division games). But don't forget this only applies to football, B1G Basketball has no divisions.
Who knows what Big Ten Jim Delany will exercise, but the conference is in good hands.