The news that college football fans have been dreading since Saturday night became official Monday morning: It appears as though Maryland is headed to the Big Ten.
The story was was first reported via ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy. He tweeted the following Monday morning.
Maryland's board of regents unanimously approves move to Big Ten, source tells @espn— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 19, 2012
The news became official after an ESPN report on Saturday first brought to light the Big Ten’s plans to add Maryland and Rutgers as their 13th and 14th schools respectively. A decision was expected from Maryland Monday morning, and apparently it has come.
Of course with the move we also have ourselves another round of realignment roulette, one which once again leave college athletics in tatters and the future of many schools uncertain.
Welcome to college sports in the 21 century.
Should the move to the Big Ten go official (there is still the problem of the ACC’s $50 million buyout, which apparently doesn’t seem to concern Maryland), the Terps will likely be joined by Rutgers out of the Big East, to put the conference at 14 teams. With Maryland out of the ACC, that will also likely result in another team added to that conference (the best bet is either UConn or Louisville) and the Big East left to scramble to fill in from there. At that point, Conference USA and Mountain West will likely once again get pillaged by the Big East.
But it does appear as though Maryland is headed to the Big Ten, and with it is the windfall which will come with the conference’s next TV negotiations, which are set for some time in 2017. The addition of Maryland (and likely Rutgers), also means the addition of the 10’s of millions of TV sets in the New York, Philadelphia and Washington area that come with them. If things going according to plan for Jim Delany, a report by Sports Illustrated indicated that those additional TV sets could result in $200 million of additional revenue for the conference.
Still, all of those TV contracts are in the long-term, and in the short-term college athletics are about to once again be flipped on their heads.
And we thought we were done with all this non-sense, huh?
For all his opinion, insight and analysis on college football, follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.