Patrick McDermott

Rutgers, Maryland join the Big Ten; ACC's grant of rights expected to end realignment dance

The University of Maryland and Rutgers University have both been officially welcomed by Jim Delany and co. to be the 13th and 14th members of the Big Ten athletic conference respectively. New speculations had centered on Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Virginia being next in line, but with the ACC's fifteen members schools agreeing to a grant of rights, the conference realignment game of musical chairs appears over.

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23 Total Updates since November 19, 2012
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  • All Updates 23

ACC ends realignment (for now)?

Three power conferences now have similar deals, leaving very few major realignment possibilities on the table.

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B1G to scrap Leaders/Legends, adopt East/West

As long pined for (and expected as of late), the Big Ten will eliminate the Leaders/Legends setup and instead move to an East/West divisional alignment.

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Report: B1G to approve nine-game conference slate

As widely anticipated, the Big Ten is inching closer to a nine-game conference slate, beginning for the 2016 season.

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Report: New Big Ten divisions almost set

New Big Ten divisions should mean Ohio State and Michigan in their rightful place in the same division.

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Jim Delany: Big Ten divisions not set in stone

While Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany mentioned yesterday during the Maryland press conference that the Big Ten's divisions would be revisited, most of us just rolled our eyes and assume he was paying lip service to the notion at best. Sure, they'd "revisit" them, but given how notoriously stubborn the league's leadership can be, it seemed just as easy of a bet that that revisitation would mean going through the motions and then the reported Ilinois shifting to the Legends Division and Rutgers & Maryland joining the Leaders Division coming to fruition after all.

Delany told the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein that there weren't any truth to the reports that a Maryland administrator had confirmed Rutgers and Maryland would be joining the Leaders Division:

B1G commish Jim Delany just told me we should not believe report on Rut & Md going to Leaders, and Ill shifting to Legends ...

Delany: "I have absolutely no idea where that came from. We have not had discussion one about that."

Whether or not that's commissioner speak or the real deal, hope is hope. Fingers crossed, Big Ten football fans.

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Rutgers, Big Ten to hold 2 PM EST press conference

Much like the Big Ten conference did yesterday for Maryland, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany to announce their plans to become the 14th member of the storied football conference. The Big Ten Network will begin coverage of the event at 1:45 PM EST and will also stream the event live on their BTN2Go service.

While Rutgers is having arguably their best football season in recent memory (they presently sit at 9-1 with their lone loss coming at the hand of former Ohio State wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell's Kent State Golden Flashes), they don't add a ton in terms of football pedigree beyond the last decade. The architect of that success, Greg Schiano, has also moved on to the greener pastures of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL. None the less, Kyle Flood's done a tremendous job and as was noted yesterday, were Rutgers a member of the Big Ten in the previous recruiting cycle, they would've had the 3rd best recruiting class in the entire conference.

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Maryland, Rutgers to join Leaders Division

So much for the basic concept of East/West.

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Rutgers to announce they are joining the Big Ten

Well that certainly didn't take long. For the seemingly brief 12-16 hours of so it appeared that Georgia Tech might be an alternative to Rutgers, ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported Monday afternoon that Rutgers was, in fact, going to be the Big Ten's 14th team, thus, in theory, delivering the vaunted New York City market to the Big Ten (and their Big Ten Network):

Rutgers will announce move to Big Ten on Tuesday, sources told ESPN

Now becomes much scrutiny and second guessing. Do Maryland and Rutgers really add enough to justify what will surely be a high price tag (particularly in Maryland's case)? Though Rutgers is more on the up and up from a football perspective, they certainly don't add a ton from a men's basketball perspective. Many Big Ten (and Ohio State fans for that matter) would've certainly liked splashier additions, but in terms of dollars and where alumni reside, they certainly could've done worse.

UPDATE: Per a report at The Star-Ledger, Rutgers is expected to accept an invitation to the Big Ten Monday and will announce the decision as early as Tuesday. Perhaps most interestingly about the report is this bit about the unilateral powers of athletic director Tim Pernetti:

When the invitation comes, Tim Pernetti, Rutgers' athletic director, has the power to accept without waiting for authorization from the school's board of governors.

The report also goes on to state that the school would hope to join the Big Ten by 2014 but that Rutgers could try to follow the path previously paved by Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia in their respective negotiated early exits from the Big East.

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Maryland will join the Big Ten in 2014-2015

The Big Ten Network announced through their Twitter account Monday afternoon that the now confirmed Maryland move from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big Ten would be taking place effective for the 2014-2015 season. The network also reiterated that they would be airing a special Big Ten Expansion Special and the press conference announcing the school's joining of the league at 2:30 PM EST on both the Big Ten Network and through their BTN2Go online service/app.

Now that we have a time table, we can begin to speculate the other lingering questions, like what impact will this have on the Big Ten's much maligned divisions? Will the league simply shift Illinois over to the Legends division and add Maryland and Rutgers (or Georgia Tech) to the Leaders side of the ledger? Or will they instead finally acquiesce and go to the more logical East/West alignment folks have been pining for since we first knew the league would have divisions in the first place?

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Source: Maryland's decided to move to the Big Ten

Not long after ESPN's Andy Katz reported that a prominent Maryland alumnus told him that the Terrapins would likely choose the Big Ten, Maryland's 247Sports representative, InsideMDSports.com's Jeff Ermann, reports that the move is indeed happening:

A source with knowledge of the situation tells InsideMDsports.com Maryland has decided to move to the BigTen. Announcement expected at 3.

And if that wasn't enough, ESPN's Brett McMurphy verified Maryland's move not even 20 minutes later:

Maryland's board of regents unanimously approves move to Big Ten, source tells ESPN.

And there you have it.

For better or worse, it appears the University of Maryland is planning to initiate the process to depart from the ACC and move to the Big Ten. Whether a lengthy legal challenge is in store (or just a large, financial one), it'll be interesting to see when and how the next dominoes fall. At 3 PM we should have more clarity on the situation as a whole.

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Maryland's board to vote on Big Ten move

The University of Maryland's board of regents are meeting Monday morning to vote whether or not to join the Big Ten athletic conference. While the vote only needs a simple majority to pass (and evidently comes on the heels of expedition from University President Wallace D. Loh), many of the board members were reportedly not briefed on the situation as a whole:

The board members had not been formally briefed on the situation before the conference call with Loh. Multiple individuals with firsthand knowledge of the situation, who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions, remained unsure of how the Board of Regents would vote, only saying that, as one put it, members "have a lot of questions."

"Obviously there's a financial incentive, but we need to know what else is involved," one of those individuals said. "Is there any other reason besides money? What are the pros and cons? What does it mean to spread the size of your conference out? I don't want to sit down and say I've made up my mind until I've heard all the data."

Sounds like a solid way to conduct business that could include a reported $50 million dollar exit fee to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference and could have serious financial implications on the athletic department and university alike for years to come.

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Report: Maryland, Rutgers in talks to join the B1G

The Big Ten may soon be adding two more teams wearing shades of red to the league.

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