The ACC scored a minor victory yesterday when a North Carolina judge refused a motion by the University of Maryland to drop a lawsuit filed by the Terps' soon-to-be former conference in November. The ACC is suing Maryland to enforce a $52 million exit fee after Maryland announced its intention to leave the conference for the Big Ten.
The school has 30 days to appeal the ruling, which means ... more court cases.
For whatever reason, Monday's ruling on the ACC-Maryland lawsuit has kick started another round of conference realignment rumors that suggests further ACC defections. According to InsideMDSports.com, Maryland's 247 Sports affiliate:
Big 10 talk buzzing again. #UVA being mentioned often as likely to join. Georgia Tech still in the mix. #UNC, the big domino, has an offer.— Jeff Ermann (@insidemdsports) February 19, 2013
Multiple sources have told MrSEC.com that Virginia and Georgia Tech have had conversations with the Big Ten, but all parties involved are waiting to see the outcome of the ACC/Maryland battle before deciding to wed. There have been other reports that the Big Ten has had contact with North Carolina and Duke as well.
It's unclear what, exactly, has changed in the time since North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia reportedly turned down the Big Ten the first time, but there you go. Same recurring ACC apocalypse rumor, different day.
Personally I'm having a hard time believing Virginia would leave the ACC without Virginia Tech (or ensuring the Hokies have a cushy landing spot), given the significant political pressure exerted to hook the 'Hoos and Hokies up in the first place. North Carolina and Virginia are similarly wedded and in many ways, UNC and UVa are more ACC than any other two programs in the conference.
Does the Big Ten have an interest in adding North Carolina and Virginia? Certainly. The problem is those schools are two of the least likely candidates to leave the conference. So baseless rumors to sell pay site subscriptions or something more?
Don't you worry though. If the ACC does lose two additional members, Cincinnati wants you to know the Bearcats are here to buy your affection.