18 Nov 2012
Here's to hoping you enjoyed your few months of realignment-free news from the world of college football because it might be coming to an end. Over the past three or four days, "Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten" rumors have begun to take on ferocious volume, and ESPN's Brett McMurphy, Dana O'Neil and Andy Katz are reporting that Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who is to Maryland what Nike's Phil Knight is to Oregon (i.e. a serious sugar daddy and influential figure), is very much in favor of the move. And if Maryland were to move, Rutgers would take about three seconds to agree to become the Big Ten's 14th member.
Why would Maryland make this move? They are, after all, a founding member of the ACC and have been associated with Duke, North Carolina, etc., for a long time now. But there is always a draw in money, especially for Maryland, which has been struggling with cash flow for quite a while. The school recently had to cut eight sports and could very much benefit from being part of the Big Ten's television contract, which could become quite valuable with whatever pieces of the Washington D.C. market the school is able to command. Of course, there would still be issue of the simply enormous, $50 million buyout that the ACC would require of Maryland. Not a small thing, that.
Things seem to have gotten awfully real, awfully fast. Maryland's departure is not a slam dunk, but the school's Board of Regents will be voting on the issue on Monday. If the Terrapins elect to move, Rutgers could finalize its own decision by Tuesday. Will the ACC become a realignment victim for the first time? And how much will Rutgers' departure damage an already crippled Big East?
47 comments, Last at 26 Nov 2012, 5:03pm by jklps