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Is Colorado to the Pac-10 the first domino to topple?

Colorado has accepted an invitation to join the Pacific-10 conference, possibly setting off a major realignment of NCAA conferences. There has been speculation that, when everything shakes out, Maryland could be a target of the Big 10. But Yanda writes:

"Multiple high-ranking Maryland officials said Thursday that the school has not formally considered -- nor has it been asked to consider -- a move to the Big Ten."

Read The Post's story here.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  June 10, 2010; 1:51 PM ET
 
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Comments

The key word there is "formally".

Posted by: FeartheNoodle | June 10, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

A move by the Terps would be foolish. The ACC just negotiated a lucrative TV deal with ESPN that places it on firm financial footing. It's not SEC money, but the ACC has done well for itself, particularly getting the most out of basketball.

The Terps have established rivalries with a number of teams in the conference in all sports, and unless other teams get pillaged (Clemson, Miami, or VaTech to the SEC), the Terps are fine just where they are.

Posted by: Russtinator | June 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The ACC had better get proactive on this or it may be left in the dust. Clearly the Big Ten is not going to stop at 12 unless the 12th is Notre Dame. If Nebraska goes today you can bet that at least 2 others will join and the Big Ten will become the Big 14 or Big 16.

If the ACC wants to preserve the current 12 members it's going to have to add at least two and probably four schools. The most ideal candidates are Rutgers and UConn. This would bring in the NY market and the ACC would be the conference of the Eastern Seaboard with ALL major cities in its footprint. I would favor Syracuse and Pitt as the final two, over WVA for market (revenue) and academic reasons.

But here is the final kicker for me... if the ACC doesn't act, Maryland should not be stuck on a sinking ship. It simply has to consider an offer from the Big Ten if it gets one.

Posted by: petecard | June 11, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I despise the IDEA of further ACC expansion, but if the reality is "expand or die" then I have to say I agree completely with Petecard on the best two schools to add, with the addition of Pitt and Cuse as the second two. I don't think expansion to 14 would be as valuable as expansion to 16. WVU would be the alternate at best...or maybe Marshall (not sure how it stands academically).

ND belongs in the B11 if anywhere at all. The BE is doomed because of the lack of D1 FB teams at all of its member schools...and the fact that they were too weak to get ND as a FB member to begin with.

I really don't want to see it happen, but if Swofford and company aren't evaluating the potentialities than what are they getting paid for?

I do disagree that MD would be in a sinking ship if a few schools were to defect to the SEC (most likely scenario of Clemson, FL St, perhaps Miami and perhaps GaT).

I don't think GaT would want to leave. There exists an inherent snobishry at that school towards Ga and the fact that it is in the lesser academically acclaimed SEC. We are tied to Tobacco Road and those schools are a package deal - much like the reports that TX goes nowhere without A&M and Tx Tech. My firm belief is that UNC is the most desirable candidate for the SEC. I don't think the B11 comes this far east for expansion - Mizzou and Nebraska don't make much sense although they could get Pitt. It will come down to financial benefits - increased revenues over increased costs. UNC has the benefit of bus rides against top tier competition and I doubt they will give that up without a massive increase in revenues. Even with the defection of four programs I named above, we still will have 8 schools and a phat TV contract, the premier mens BB conference and slot in the BCS. We would still be an attractive destination for the existing BE schools as we were for BC, Miami and VaT when they joined.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | June 11, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The above said, where are plans for the ACC TV network?

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | June 11, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The ACC should try and add 4 North East teams and lock up the mega cities and the biggest TV markets in the US. Target Philly and NYC and you will have a good set up for a 16 team North VS South style conference.

I am Bias but I would love to see, Temple, Rutgers Army and Navy added in, or if you don't want Army/Navy go for Syracuse, UConn.

Posted by: alex35332 | June 11, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

First of all:
I agree with Pete. I think it will become a situation of expand or die. One thing Pete forgot to mention is that expansion to 16 teams would allow for a home-away regular season against the teams in their respective divisions. Basically, two conferences under one financial umrella.

That said, please go to www.testudotimes.com for their take on the pros/cons of MD going to the Big 10(11). At first, I despised this idea, but the article makes a lot of strong arguments for MD joining the Big 10(11).

Posted by: larry31 | June 14, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Huge,

Regarding Big 10(11) expansion, MD is the most desirable ACC school because of its huge fanbase in the DC-Batlimore TV market. Tobacco Road could end up getting screwed when the smoke clears because those four schools share a mediocre TV market.

While I respect ESPN as an innovative company that responds with lightning quickness to changing markets and technology, I despise them for driving the conference realignment based mostly on fottbal TV contracts. They are well on their way to controlling the entire BCS championship series, which means we will never see a true palyoff system. I cringe at the thought of ESPN obtaining the rights the March Madness.

Posted by: larry31 | June 14, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the typos. I mistakenly hit the "submit" button instead of the "preview" button.

Posted by: larry31 | June 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

If I were the Big Ten, and were looking to poach an ACC school, then yes, UMD is the most likely successful target. However, raiding the Big East is still less of a gamble than snagging UMD.

If I were the SEC, on the other hand, I would be drooling over Virginia Tech. Why? Let's all consider that the driving force behind all this is TV sets tuned to your games on Saturdays in the fall. VaTech will deliver a greater number of that than UMD will.

Also, as the Doorknob of College Sports (Everybody gets a Turn!), Virginia Tech has been in every major conference on this side of the Mississippi in the past 20 years, EXCEPT for the Big 10 and the SEC.

I'm just saying that I won't be surprised to see Blacksburg showing up on someone else's map.

Posted by: mabkhar | June 14, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I kinda see your point on the B10(11, I mean 12..you know the one with Michigan and Oh St). No doubt we deliver two regions for the price of one. I could also see UVA as a target, although the Wahoos see themselves as a Southern school. Still think our lot is best served sticking with the likes of Tobacco road. The ACC expanding north to the schools we have discussed is still preferable to leaving the ACC imho.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | June 14, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Huge,

I like the idea of raiding the Big East to expand north so that MD stays in the ACC, but the problem is that the ACC just renewed their (average) TV contract, so expanding to 16 teams would necessitate a new contract.

At this point, jumping ship to the Big 10(11)(16?) along with Rutgers and Pitt seems more likely.

Posted by: larry31 | June 14, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

...and the award goes to Mabkhar for his description of VaT as the "Doorknob of College Sports." Waiting for Poopy and Barno to weigh in.

I suspect this might be much ado about nothing. My gut is telling me the ACC stays intact in its current 12 team configuration and we are stuck with BC for quite a while...unless the ACC launches its own network.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | June 15, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Huge,

My gut tells me that MD's conference fate is linked to Rutgers and Pitt who would also be ideal candidates for expansion, whether it be the ACC-North or Big 10(11)(16?) East.

Posted by: larry31 | June 15, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

So the Texas and rivals conference survives with ten teams. Any thoughts on the ripple effect? The Great Lakes conference expands adding Nebraska; that's good enough to host a conf. championship game in FB, but not likely as lucrative as adding more households to the network's viewership. Good for the Aggies (using influence) and TX (using its power) to stay put. Nebraska looks like a bunch of wienies right now as they likely will no longer play Oklahoma and other traditional rivals...unless there is further expansion in the B10. The risk of major re-alignment involving MD declined a bit, but not substantially. Would hate to see MD end up in a division in a conference that includes Nebraska - which is what would likely happen if we joined the B10 (Michigan).

Colorado hasn't won since Slash and (ugh) Michael Westbrook (although someone pointed out that they are good at skiing) so not sure what they bring to the PAC10 what Utah or BYU would not have.

Posted by: HughGRection | June 15, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Well folks, expansion was all about money, but so was Texas decision to stay in the new "Big Ten." In my view this will really slow down conference realignment. Nebraska gives the Big Ten a conference championship game, although it wouldn't be surprising to see the NCAA reduce the number of required teams from 12 to 10. Notre Dame doesn't want anything else to change. The Big East is unlikely to get raided and the ACC and SEC are happy where they are.

I'm actually bummed out about this as I was hoping for 4 super conferences of 16 teams each with the ACC being the conference of the eastern seaboard.

Posted by: petecard | June 15, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Huge,

My gut tells me that MD's conference fate is linked to Rutgers and Pitt who would also be ideal candidates for expansion, whether it be the ACC-North or Big 10(11)(16?) East.

larry,

You may be right. That scenario would also tie us to Penn St for the B10-Mich opportunity (if it exists). Somehow, I think being tied to UNC, UVA (boo Wahoos) and VaT as well as Tobacco road is MORE valuable to us then being tied to Pitt, Penn St and Rutgers. The real key is what is more valuable to Fl St, Miami and Clemson as the SEC are more likely to target them then the B10 (Michigan) is likely to target MD imho. Both the SEC and B10-Mich have their conf. champ. games as was said above; from what I had read earlier, MD was not one of the B10-Mich's top choices, but a safety school at best.

So the ACC needs to determine whether adding two or four will add more revenues and preserve revenues or standing pat is the best option. Not sure that we'll ever hear a definitive statement on that.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | June 15, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Huge,

Actually, I think the SEC heads west to pick up Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma St.

I think Tobacco Road gets left picking up scraps because of their crappy TV market.

Posted by: larry31 | June 15, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

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