Here we go again. According to an ESPN report, the University of Maryland is in serious negotiations to join the Big Ten. An announcement could come as soon as Monday. If Maryland, a charter member of the ACC, goes to the Big Ten, Rutgers is the most likely candidate to follow suit.
The price tag is hefty. Should Maryland decide to leave the ACC, the Terps are looking at a price tag in the $50 million dollar range. A lot of cheddar for an athletics department treading water financially.
When Maryland, along with Florida State, voted against the ACC's increased exit fee back in September, University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh voted against the increase based purely on "legal and philosophical" grounds. Loh is reportedly handling the conversations with the Big Ten. Yeah.
Should the Terps leave the ACC for the Big Ten, it would be the first program to leave the conference since South Carolina in 1971 (and only the second in the conference's 60+ year history. This would also leave a hole in the ACC's Atlantic Division which would likely be backfilled by the University of Connecticut, I would imagine.
When Boston College joined the ACC in 2005, those first few seasons a BC-Maryland rivalry was forced upon us by the ACC football schedule makers with season-ending games between the Eagles and Terps. A rivalry never really developed, with BC winning six of eight in the all-time ACC series. Now with Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame all joining the conference as early as next season, having Maryland to bridge the conference's geographic gap between Chestnut Hill and College Park seems less necessary.
If Maryland wants to leave, I'm cool with that. Even if it means adding UConn to the fold. If Loh thinks leaving the ACC for more cash and becoming a poor man's Indiana / Purdue, I say go for it.
Also of note: if Connecticut joins the ACC as an all-sports member to replace Maryland, under existing conference bylaws, the ACC will be just one men's ice hockey program short of having to sponsor men's ice hockey as an official conference sport.