According to a report in today's New York Daily News, should Maryland leave the ACC for the Big Ten, the conference could reload with non-football members St. John's and Georgetown.
Football has been the driving force in the waves of conference realignment that have washed over college sports for more than a year. Now there is something different. Schools better known for their basketball programs could be on the move: specifically St. John's and Georgetown out of the Big East.
Nothing is necessarily going down, so everyone keep your heads. But the possibilities are palpable.
First, consider the source -- the New York Daily News. The author even goes as far to say that Louisville "embarrasses the Big East in its desire to leave at every turn" which TOTALLY smacks of unbiased, credible reporting.
I suppose Georgetown makes sense on some level, considering the conference is poised to lose a foothold in the Baltimore-Washington DC TV market. However, the current revenue models of the Big Ten and the ACC vary greatly. For the ACC, it's less about getting the conference's own TV network on my cable providers and more about enhancing the overall value of the product and maximizing ratings for the ACC's TV partners.
Adding Georgetown could just be a big FU move to Maryland. Doesn't really fit the conference's M.O. but crazier things have happened. Imagine the ACC Tournament at the Verizon Center, hosted by Georgetown.
St. John's makes less sense, especially after the conference just added Syracuse and Notre Dame -- both of which bring significantly more eyeballs in the NYC area based on the football product alone. I'd also question the conference's willingness to bring on more non-football playing members not named Notre Dame. If adding Georgetown and St. John's made sense, it probably would have happened already.
Another scenario thrown out in the report is a full-on raid of the Big East to include Connecticut, Louisville, St. John's (non-football) and Georgetown (non-football).
The thing to keep in mind is that the ACC has not been reactionary in any of this conference realignment drama. For a conference that has lost one member in 60+ years, I just don't believe the conference would quickly add Connecticut, Georgetown and St. John's to replace Maryland. The most likely scenarios seem to be replacing Maryland with Connecticut or simply standing pat for a bit and waiting to see how this all plays out. If there's anything that we've learned about the latest round of ACC expansion, it's that John Swofford is a stone cold ninja that plays things close to the chest.