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Conference expansion 'speculation' du jour: Terps to Big East?

Reporting from the Bowl Championship Series meetings in Arizona, the Boston Globe's Mark Blaudschun writes that the Big East may try to be proactive in the looming Great War of Expansion. For one, the conference hired former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue as a consultant yesterday.

And then Blaudschun wrote this: "There has been speculation that the Big East is going after Maryland."

Now let's not start planning trips to Syracuse just yet. Oftentimes, "speculation" means "we were tossing around ideas at the bar the other night," or "someone asked me to float this idea, to gauge the reaction."

Plus, this isn't the first time the Maryland-to-the-Big East meme has popped up. In August, the New York Post reported on the same "speculation," which Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow described as "a waste of everybody's time."

The Big East, frankly, may have to make some unorthodox moves if it is to survive the Big Ten's looming power grab, which very well could result in three Big East teams leaving. But the thought of the Big East poaching the ACC just seems far-fetched, at least at the moment. The ACC seems to be on relatively safe ground as the Great War of Expansion inches closer, and if anything, the ACC would seem to be in better position to take teams from the Big East, should the dominoes fall right.

What's your take on Maryland's position in all of this, and of conference expansion in general? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  April 22, 2010; 9:26 AM ET
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Dream scenario surely never to happen...

ACC North -
West Virginia
Boston College
Virginia Tech
Penn St (I know, I know)

ACC South
Wake Forest
Georgia Tech
Florida St

Posted by: kozora | April 22, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

just as long as my blue devils stay victorious and true. q from pg

Posted by: qfrompg | April 22, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Actually I agree with Ms. Yow's "waste of everybody's time" statement. Nothing to gain. The BE is flawed in its geographic footprint as well as the lack of division 1 FB at all of the schools. Moreover, revenues are not shared among the schools so when ND wins, it does not help CT, Pitt or any of the others. That is the reason, that VT, Miami and BC were quick to jump to the ACC. Switching out BC with WVU, Pitt or some closer team (ack! even Rutgers) makes more sense. Then again, there was constant debate back in my time at CP as to whether MD was the state school of MD or of NJ.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | April 22, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

It makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER for Maryland to bolt to the Big East; UM has nothing to gain from leaving the ACC to join the Big East. I would have preferred to see W.Va join the ACC over BC to preserve the conference's geography and, especially, since the Mountaineers probably are the most consistent football rivalry the Terps have (not to mention the fact that their basketball team is now a national contender that would add to the ACC's already-brilliant lustre).

I would hope that if there is another round of expansion, the ACC would return to the round robin format where every basketball team plays one another twice a year--even if that means is (vastly) reduced out-of-conference schedule.

Posted by: JBTerp | April 22, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

what a stupid one but the author is speculating on this happening yet here it is like its got some sort of life....tabloid sports reporting at its finest.

Posted by: outrbnksm | April 22, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The conference line-up is going to change dramatically and it is entirely possible that several big conferences will break away from the NCAA. Why? MONEY and control.

Where will this leave Maryland? Who knows.

But one thing is for sure, Maryland will never be a football school. The administration is unwilling to make the commitment and it might be right in its thinking. Pro football is much bigger in the area, with two teams that have rabid fan bases. Maryland is rarely on national TV. It is NOT a destination school for a big time college football coach.

So I would be surprised, very surprised, if the university gets out front in any conference realignments. The biggest threat to the ACC is football schools like Miami, Florida State and VTech moving elsewhere, leaving the ACC in a position very similar to what the Big East was in when the ACC raided three schools from it.

It's going to be a roller coaster, but one person who will survive is GW. When the NCAA Tournament expands to 96 teams, he will make the tournament every year and he will win 2 games at least half of the time. That won't get him to the Sweet 16, but his "thought police" will be on full patrol and he will survive, even as the program does not gain elite status.

Posted by: petecard | April 22, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

One thing that has made the Big East vulnerable and 'different' from the other BCS conferences is the odd mix of football schools and non-football schools. I know it's not an easy problem to have...after all, the Big East is arguably the strongest hoops conference in America. You cannot exactly ask them to leave, and they are not all going to add football programs, either.

The good news? If the Big Ten expands only to 12 schools...that is, adding only one school from the Big East, an opportunity will arise for the Big East. It can replace the departed school, and add four more to create a southern division for football, giving the Big East 12 teams. If West Virginia won't squeal too much, it could add Marshall to the north group, and Memphis, East Carolina, Southern Miss, Central Florida, as a southern group. Existing Big East members Louisville and South Florida could play in the southern division.

The bad news? If superconferences emerge, it's all over for the Big East.

Posted by: FanJack | April 22, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

2nd dumbest blog piece in Terp Insider history.

Debbie Yow is right, this is a waste of everyone's time. Not like there's spring football to report on though right?

Posted by: Barno1 | April 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

This article might be quasi-pointless, but it's better than anything Yanda ever wrote.

Yow has said over and over that Maryland to the Big East = not happening. Even among this crazy conference realignment buzz, I think there is 0% chance Maryland would leave for the Big East. The ACC should be pro-active and go and try to pull Pitt, WVU, Syracuse and UConn into the ACC. That would finally balance out the conference in both the North and South. Maryland has the bargaining chips here folks - if other conferences start to expand, they can tell the ACC to bring balance to the north or they walk. Could you imagine an ACC split as follows:
Va Tech

NC State
Ga Tech

Adding Pitt, WVU, Syracuse and UConn gives us 4 great basketball schools, two more very good football schools and two mediocre football schools. I think that's our best-case scenario.

Posted by: homertuckumd | April 22, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Based on everything I've read in recent days it seems like Nebraska is the real gem the Big 10 wants to add, given that ND does not want to join, most significantly because of deep institutional resistance to joining the 'secular' Big 10 academic research consortium. It's not really about money when you really dig into it. ND would in fact probably increase their revenue substantially if they joined because of the success of the Big 10 network.

All this other stuff is people speculating on what would happen if the Big 10 expands in a larger way and gets several Big East schools, thus causing the BE to scramble. The only thing that is clear is that the Big 10 did do some kind of preliminary evaluations of Syracuse, Pitt, Missouri and Rutgers.

But under no scenario does Maryland go anywhere -- for all the reasons others have pointed out.

Regarding the idea someone brought up about Cincinnati joining the Big 10, I read an article that said UC is not a candidate because it doesn't quite meet the academic and research criteria that are part of the considerations.

Posted by: jake177 | April 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

My guess: Big 10 wants Texas. They fit the bill on many levels. ND, Nebraska, Pitt are probably next three in order.

Terps should stay put. ACC Football will be fine, basketball wil stay on top.

Posted by: reindeerterp | April 22, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

NCAA Tourney to expand to only 68 teams. I love this quote from the NCAA president:

"A number of people made assumptions that we were going to 96, when we were just conducting our due diligence," Isch said in a teleconference. "No decision had ever been made."

All of that needless worrying from fans and media alike and their fears were unfounded. But I bet guys like John Feinstein and Mike Wilbon will claim they didn't expand BECAUSE of all those fears expressed, then pat themselves on the back for helping stop the 98 team expansion.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

It's going to be a roller coaster, but one person who will survive is GW. When the NCAA Tournament expands to 96 teams, he will make the tournament every year and he will win 2 games at least half of the time. That won't get him to the Sweet 16, but his "thought police" will be on full patrol and he will survive, even as the program does not gain elite status.

Posted by: petecard | April 22, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I still cannot fathom how you are able to operate a computer. Your IQ can't possibly be over 75.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 22, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

MD is ACC. all the way. don't do it. the Big East should take Boston College back and dump Notre Dame, Depaul and Marquette, They should also take Miami back but, football rules college sports, so none of this will happen. The Big East is a buzz saw for basketball and only average for football. ACC is great for b-ball, best conference to me, but lousy for football.

Posted by: isometruman1 | April 22, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Maryland is an original ACC school and always will be in the ACC. Basketball comes first and football is second at Maryland and in the ACC even though they expanded for football purposes. If anyone disagrees, then you obviously don't know Maryland or the ACC.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | April 22, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Going to the Big East, a shaky conference with inferior revenue, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for Maryland. The only conference Maryland should ever leave the ACC for would be the Big Ten, though I don't know if university administrators would have the courage to make the move and rile a fan base who's overly obsessed with playing basketball games against Duke.

Posted by: VPaterno | April 22, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I see the ACC possibly losing then adding teams within the next 2-4 years IF the Big 10 goes to 14 to 16 teams which is being speculated about now.

The Big 10 expands and takes 2-3 BE teams, ND, and possiby 1-2 Big 12 teams by next year.

The SEC responds in kind in 2-4 years by grabbing 2-3 ACC teams such as GT, Clemson, FSU, Miami being the leading candidates.

Thus, the ACC responds by grabbing WVU, L'ville and either UCONN or Syracuse (I'm assuming RU, Pitt, and one of Syracuse or UCONN are going to the Big 10).

So you can think it isn't going to happen BUT if the Big 10 goes to 14 to 16 teams this will send ripple effects around the conferences over the next few years. Don't forget the Pac 10 has said they want to expand as well.

Posted by: sportsjunkie29 | April 22, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

F- Paul Tagliabue. He gave the NFL Jacksonville.

Posted by: bal503 | April 22, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

ever since Virginia tech joined the acc, it has cheapened it. We were fine before, but now its a joke with these new schools. No big east, but maybe the big ten would be a good idea.

Posted by: tony28 | April 22, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Big 10 can't count. Big East needs to raise academic standards. There is a little room for improvement in the ACC. Go ACC

Posted by: spoton1 | April 23, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Dream ACC

NC State

New Teams
West Virginia (Original from 1958)
South Carolina (returning member)
South Florida (trade with Big East to send BC back)

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | April 23, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

2nd dumbest blog piece in Terp Insider history.

Debbie Yow is right, this is a waste of everyone's time. Not like there's spring football to report on though right?

Posted by: Barno1 | April 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you on this completely. I take it that the Terps to the B10 is in first place in terms of dumbest article.

The B10 only needs to add one team, not all of the teams that have been rumored to be under consideration, to garner more revenues. The BE does not remotely offer any financial incentive for any of the ACC schools, unfortunately including BC. The conference is stuck with them unless they decide to remove them. Joining the ACC has been a financial boon to BC - when CT won NCs, BC got nothing; when UNC and Duck won them, they got 1/12 of the pot. We share athletic revenues from tournament wins and bowl games which is why Miami joined to begin with. If they did not get to a major bowl, their athletic depatartment was sunk for the year.

In terms of the ACC NOT being a premier FB conference, that is only recently true. Fl State, Miami and GT have all won NCs. Clemson kinda did too but were on probation at the time (and that was back in the 80s). I'm really not sure where the ACC rates historically in terms of FB NCs won, but I gotta believe that with the FB rich schools in the conference, more than one of them will return to elite status (with my money on Miami and Fl State). And whether or not we like the winners, the conference has the last two BB NCs. It is odd that with the FB based expansion, the conference has had parity in the sport without one or two dominating teams contending for the NC. I know we've discussed the causes in the past, but I still think that it is a surprise.

Md has a great situation. I like the idea of replicating the B10 network for revenues with the additional benefit of offeing MD (and other ACC) students and alumni concrete opportunities in media.

Now if they had a show about Steve Goins tying his shoes or eating his breakfast, that would be a must see.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | April 23, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Well, it's so predictable, the "Chief" of GW's Thought Police, Garo himself, immediately responded to my post. His response wasn't to the substance but rather was a personal attack. The reason? He doesn't have a rational response to the issue raised.

It is great to see that the NCAA decided, for now, not to respond beyond three additioanl teams. That will allow three more bubble hugging at-large bids, providing a little more wiggel room for the coaches who need to justify their mediocre records by saying they reached the tournament. But it does keep the basic bracket in tact and provides some protection for the regular season and conference championships.

Unlike Garo, the all knowing cynic, I do believe that outcry from the non-coaching basketball community and fandom had an impact on keeping expansion to a minimum. Of course I also know that the almighty dollar, provided largely by Turner Broadcasting, rescued CBS, saved us from more of the nausiating ubiguity of ESPN and preserved the integrity of the tournanment.... for now.

Drink up Garo.

Posted by: petecard | April 23, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: blazerguy234 | April 23, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

lot's of stuff here

1) I like the acc to expand south, not north or west. I like ejharris's dream ACC

2) petecard you started it. No reason to bring Gary into it besides a weird personal vendetta. Also, look up how to spell ubiquity, but I agree that the backlash from media and fans is why the NCAA didnt go to 96. They will eventually. I applaud Feinstein and think his questioning of NCAA mensch on the ful week of school these kids will miss was a mjor factor in 68 instead of 96.

3) Fellas (and maybe chicks but highly doubtful), this is a blog. This is where Yanda is supposed to report rumors and speculation. None of this conference stuff is in print, it's conjecture. Let's all relax a little.

4) A little spring practice stuff would be nice. And maybe Terps lax, they are looking good and ACC tourney is this weekend.

Posted by: jpfterps | April 23, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

MD will never leave the ACC..that's just silly.

The snooty ACC schools (I'm a UVa grad) will never accept WVU. Period.

ACC will not take South Carolina back.

Posted by: hoos3014 | April 23, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

MD is not leaving the ACC unless the ACC dissolves like the SWC.

As for the ACC if it gets raided, no way they pick up WV. The school's profile just doesn't fit with the rest of the ACC. The ACC would target (in this order) Syracuse, Rutgers, and UCONN.

And if they do go after UCONN, they would hold their noses doing it because they don't want the stink of Calhoun and Geno in the conference despite what it would bring in exposure.

Posted by: CapsNut | April 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Don't know what his family's financial situation is, but Bruce Campbell likely cost himself a lot of money by going pro a year early. 4th round pick? Ugh...

Wish he had stayed.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 24, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

ha ha ha. This article is drivel. Md leaving the ACC is as dumb as Duke or UNC leaving the ACC. I actually agree with many of you that those Yankees from BC have no business in our conference. But MD, albeit kinda yankee, lies beneath the Mason Dixon and belongs with us, WFU, GT, etc. whether y'all like it or not.

I personally loved coming up to MD for games and crabs from the bay. Beats the f out of going to Chapel Hill and getting crabs from the co-eds.

And don't even get me started on the B10 speculation. As a premier Engineering institution, I would hope MD would insist on joining a conference where counting mattered just a little if they were to leave. If the name no longer applies, then change it. Verizon managed to do it. Wonder what those kids get on the math portion of their SATs. Amazing - Northwestern considers itself the premier institution for Marketing.

Posted by: Duke-Rulz-1995 | April 26, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

And for all of your whining about having top notch athletic programs in both FB and BB - we Blue Devils are happy to share our BB tournament winnings with the likes of VT and Miami as long as they are happy to share their bowl game winnings with us. Lo and behold, we are competitive at FB again - the puny geek school in crumbling Durham where your bosses went. WFU competes pretty well at FB. Sharing revenues works for the ACC. Sharing more revenues would work even better. We held up our end of the bargain by winning the NC this year (although LAST year was an anomaly with questionable officiating and objectional recruiting tactics allowing the cowardly tar heels to slither into a NC...luckily the returned to the NIT where they belong and again blew a title game against a vastly inferior opponent). We suspect and expect MD to return to respectability and at least one or two teams to return to national prominence so WE can get our 1/12 share of the bowl revenues and eventually get a real FB stadium (I agree, ours is pathetic).

Did I mention UNC LOST the NIT title game, thereby costing the ACC the glory of having the both the NC and NIT Champion in the same year? C'mon, we wanted 1/12 of that winners revenue.

Posted by: Duke-Rulz-1995 | April 26, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Isn't academics a big concern to the conferences when they think about adding teams? I can't see the ACC taking on WVU or South Carolina for that reason.

Posted by: acebojangles | April 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The Big East is a weird conference - 8 fubbal teams and 16 for everything else, and the additional 8 schools are all Catholic institutions and the 8 fubbal schools are not.

Posted by: FourthAndOne | April 26, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The Big East is a weird conference - 8 non Catholic fubbal schools and an additional 8 Catholic schools for everyhing else.

Posted by: FourthAndOne | April 26, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

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