Maryland to Big Ten A Rumor for Now

The rumors of Maryland moving from the ACC to join the Big Ten have picked up steam.

With stories of conference realignments becoming the norm every season, rumors of schools leaving historic rivalries and joining a group of strangers continue to be a hot topic amongst fans and the media. The University of Maryland has in the past been rumored to be in discussion with the Big Ten Conference and this year is no different as more talk of a possible jump from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Nothing official has been reported from either side but sources have said the University of Maryland and the Big Ten have been having serious discussions. The Big Ten has also been said to be in talks with Rutgers. An announcement is scheduled to be announced as early as Monday.

A move to the Big Ten would put the Maryland Terrapins in a strong football conference with schools like Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State. But a move away from the ACC would also place Maryland in a weaker basketball conference with the Terps losing their annual match-ups against basketball powerhouses like the North Carolina Tar Heels and their hated rival Duke Blue Devils.

In the end, it does not make much sense for the Terps to jump ship from an athletics point of view. They would be placing their rising basketball program in a weaker basketball conference and would place their struggling football program in a strong conference that would force the Terps into the conference cellar.

From a financial standpoint, a jump to the Big Ten would bring in revenue through the Big Ten Network, but the university would have to pay a $50 million exit fee to leave the ACC. On top of Maryland's budget deficit that forced them to cut many of their athletic teams, this exit fee would put them even farther deeper in the red.

A reporter familiar with the Big Ten Conference said in an email on Saturday, “We hear rumors all the time about one school or another joining the Big Ten but never is anything substantiated. The Big Ten has expansion on the back burner right now according to commissioner Jim Delany, but I do know they have made previous overtures to schools such as Rutgers and Virginia Tech in large television markets, so it would follow the conference would be interested in Maryland. Just haven't heard anything concrete.”

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