Maryland and Rutgers Reportedly in Discussions to Join Big Ten

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2012

Conference realignment in college sports seems like an everyday occurrence at this point, and it's not over yet.


UPDATE: Saturday, November 17 at 6:32 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford confirmed Rutgers' involvement via Twitter:

We now have confirmation that #Rutgers #rfootball is in talks with the Big 10 from multiple sources.

— (@rivalsnewjersey) November 17, 2012

---End of Update---


According to ESPN's Dana O'Neil, Brett McMurphy and Andy Katz, Maryland and Rutgers are in discussions to join the Big Ten:

The University of Maryland is in serious negotiations to join the Big Ten Conference, sources told on Saturday.

If Maryland goes to the Big Ten, Rutgers of the Big East is expected to follow suit. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers would give the Big Ten 14 members as the league gears toward negotiations on a new media rights deal when its first-tier rights expire in 2017.

If you were already struggling to learn where everyone plays at this point, I'm sorry, but the move does make sense geographically. 

The report states that, "No date has been set for a potential announcement, though it could come as soon as Monday."

It also mentions that this deal may not go down easily for Maryland. The school has had to drop seven sports because of budget concerns, and the ACC's exit fee is currently $50 million. That's a steep price to pay to jump ship, even if the move seems right for both sides.

A source also told ESPN that the Big Ten has wanted to expand since Notre Dame announced its move to the ACC in everything but football. 

Also worth noting is that, "If these dominoes were to fall, then Connecticut would emerge as the next most likely candidate to fill Maryland in the ACC." At least for basketball, that would make things very interesting. 

Maryland is one of the ACC's founding members. This move would certainly ruffle some feathers, but it's become commonplace in the collegiate world.

Keep an eye out for official word regarding this decision.