UPDATE #2: A local DC online news producer is reporting that Georgia Tech and Virginia will be invited to join the Big Ten Monday. More on this story as it develops.
UPDATE: 247Sports' Tim Matty has deleted the original Tweet cited below and has been backtracking like nobody's business. He obviously heard *something*, but it's interesting that he all of the sudden feels way less inclined to stand by it than he did but a few hours earlier. (H/T M1EK)
So much for the Big Ten being happy at 14 (or not, based on that one anonymous Michigan administrator). The scuttlebutt for the last 12-16 hours has been that something was going on between Georgia Tech and the Big Ten regarding conference realignment, but it hasn't all come from sources you'd bank on being in the know. The first came yesterday evening when a West Virginia Mountaineers blog of all places reported that movement could be in the works:
Sources at Ohio State University tell me that GT has already applied to the Big 10 and received an offer. If that's true I would expect GT to decide shortly after the ACC championship game.
(Emphasis added for WHAAAAAAAA?)
Not too terribly long after that, we saw some speculation in our own comment threads after an FM sports talk show host confirmed he was hearing similar:
Word from calls today is that another current
#ACC team will announce a move with 7-10 days to the #B1G. This would be a HUGE domino.
Still, those were easy enough to dismiss. But with enough smoke, you have to eventually wonder how far the fire could be off. Today, 247Sports's Tim Matty reports that Georgia Tech to the Big Ten could be a thing after all:
Sources are indicating that the
#B1G has approved #GT as its 15th member. Stay tuned... @CFravel247 @Clemson247
He'd back track a bit to those hounding him on Twitter not long after, but stay firm that he did believe something indeed was going on and the situation merited closer monitoring.
Besides the most interesting subtext (like, for one, how do all these guys from areas with little to nothing to do with the Big Ten have so many midwest athletics sources?), the other is why the league would move so soon with Maryland's legal battle with the ACC not even coming to a head yet. While I imagine the exit fees will get negotiated down out of court to something in the $20-25 million dollar range, even $50 million would be a lot for the Big Ten to ostensibly front for the likes of Maryland and Georgia Tech. All for the DC and Atlanta Big Ten alums living in those areas' eyeballs, one would have to speculate.
Even still, it'd be easy enough to dismiss since team #16 is no sure thing either (Boston College? Virginia? Are any of these athletic programs homeruns enough beyond simply a market standpoint to make all this shuffling truly beneficial?) But you also have to keep in mind that Jeff Ermann, the publisher of InsideMDSports, Maryland's 247sports representative that first broke the Maryland to the Big Ten story, had sources a week and a half ago indicating Georgia Tech was vying for an invite. It's probably worth continuing to take this all with a fairly large grain of salt, but with so many ostensibly unrelated individuals making similar claims, you have to at least wonder.