The Big Ten is looking to expand to 14 teams, and has recently been rumored to be looking eastward to accomplish that goal.
UPDATE: Monday, November 19 at 2:05 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
With Maryland signed on to join the Big Ten and Rutgers expected to follow, the conference will have to shake up its divisions.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported the Big Ten's plans via Twitter:
Maryland prez tells regents MD, RU in Leaders Division w/OSU, PSU, Wisconsin, Purdue & Indiana. Illinois moves to Legends— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 19, 2012
The Illini would join Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern in the new-look Legends division.
---End of Update---
UPDATE: Monday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. ET
As expected, Rutgers is reportedly going to join Maryland in the move to the Big Ten.
According to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, the New Jersey-based institution plans to announce their defection from the Big East to the new conference on Tuesday.
Rutgers will announce move to Big Ten on Tuesday, sources told @espn— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 19, 2012
The Scarlet Knights football program is currently No. 22 in the BCS standings and the school figures to be valuable foothold for the Big Ten in the New York media market.
We'll keep you updated right here when official word comes down.
---END OF UPDATE---
UPDATE: Monday, November 19 at 10:30 a.m. ET
ESPN's Brett McMurphy has confirmed the earlier reports that the University of Maryland is moving to the Big Ten.
Maryland's board of regents unanimously approves move to Big Ten, source tells @espn— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 19, 2012
His sources found that the board unanimously voted to leave the ACC, opening the door for Rutgers or another team to follow the Terrapins to the Big Ten.
We'll keep you updated right here with the latest breaking news concerning this surprising conference realignment.
---END OF UPDATE---
UPDATE: Monday, November 19 at 10:10 a.m. ET
It's currently being reported that the Maryland board of regents has reached a decision to move their sports programs to the Big Ten, according to Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports.com's sources.
An official announcement is expected to come at 3 p.m. ET, and we will keep you updated right here as soon as official news breaks on the Terrapins conference relocation from the ACC to the Big Ten.
---END OF UPDATE---
With the conference gearing up to renegotiate television rights in 2017, having a deeper pool of teams in a wide array of markets is certainly going to help. So perhaps it makes sense that the Big Ten officials are trying to poach Rutgers and Maryland to penetrate into two massive viewership bases.
While that may seem selfish, there are also reasons for the universities to make the leap that would improve the quality of life for their student athletes and further legitimize the football programs.
The University of Maryland’s board of regents is reportedly meeting on Monday morning to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference for the Big Ten, according to ESPN’s Dana O’Neil, Brett McMurphy and Andy Katz.
If the school decides to go ahead with the move, it could cost as much as $50 million to exit the ACC, potentially upset a number of alumni and possibly even anger those that cherish the history of Maryland sports.
Rutgers officials will be closely watching UMD’s decision on Monday morning, as it’s widely expected that the Scarlet Knights will bolt from the crumbling Big East and join the Terrapins on the move to the Big Ten.
It wouldn’t be surprising if they did, considering West Virginia bolted at the start of the 2012 season, and Pittsburgh plus Syracuse plan to join the ACC this coming summer.
The Scarlet Knights are currently ranked No. 22 in the BCS standings, despite a 9-1 overall and 5-0 conference record. It’s a legitimate football program that isn’t getting the credit it deserves due to the Big East’s awful reputation as a major conference over the past few years.
With a number of solid programs moving out of the conference, Rutgers is likely going to take its newly respectable football squad and valuable New York City market to the greener (in both competitive and dollar-figure terms) pastures of the Big Ten.
The dominos will start falling once the Maryland regents wrap up the meeting, so check back here for the latest on their decision.
Keep it tuned here on B/R for the latest on the Maryland Terrapins and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, potential conference realignment and more breaking college football news.