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Maryland Board of Regents to Make Decision on Big 10 Future Today

November 19th, 2012 at 8:56 AM
By Sam Spiegs

Yesterday, I made it perfectly clear about how I feel on Maryland's possible (and unfortunately) likely move from the ACC to the Big 10.

In a nutshell, my key points against the conference shift included the ACC's growth as a dominant basketball conference, and one Maryland has a chance to be an elite team in. Secondly, the Big 10 inhabits the middle of the country, and in terms of travel times and distances it doesn't make sense that Maryland could go from playing Virginia to Iowa and Nebraska. And then there's the fact the athletic department cut ties with eight teams last year because they faced a mounting debt — expected to be $17 million by 2017. So, yeah, excuse  me if a $50 million exit fee doesn't strike me as quite the deal.

Today, the Maryland Board of Regents is expected to vote on the conference change, though it's been reported that President Wallace Loh holds all of the power in this decision. Loh, is a former provost at Iowa, and athletic director Kevin Anderson has no ACC ties.

Maryland's biggest booster, Under Armour's Kevin Plank, backs the move as well.

The only hope for fans against the move is Chancellor Brit Kirwan, who has been on the College Park campus for more than three decades and hopes to keep the university in the ACC.

The biggest argument for the move to the Big 10 is the massive payouts the conference gives out to its members. Last year, the Big Ten paid a record $24.6 million to each of its schools, according to the St. Louis Dispatch, and in combination with the prospect of a new TV deal with the Big Ten Network, the payout could help Maryland tackle its debt.

So, let's say the move goes through. If Maryland goes to the Big 10, Rutgers will follow. 

That leaves doubt the ACC could still see more changes, which honestly would be the silver lining in this whole process.

Florida State was the only university not named Maryland to vote against the ACC raising its exit fee to $50 million in September. Florida State was flirting with the Big 12 for a while, and if the conference appears to be changing directions, FSU might consider a switch elsewhere.

There is also the notion that North Carolina could leave. Then, this whole basketball super-conference loses all of its traction, because not only in UNC a rising football program in the ACC, along with Duke and Syracuse and Pitt is the class of the basketball programs.

I'll leave on this note: It seems almost inevitable now that later on today, Loh, Anderson and the Maryland Board of Regents will move to make Maryland a member of the Big 10.

Se la vie, ACC, Maryland-Duke rivalry, Maryland-UNC rivalry, Border War with Virginia.

This is a financially-driven move, not one that is in the best interest of basketball and football and the sanctity of the athletic program.

Say hello to Big 10 country, Terps fans. Prepare your road trips to Iowa and 'Braska; welcome to farm country. 

I know it's Duke v. UNC, but you cannot tell me when a Carolina school doesn't come into Comcast Center it doesn't feel like the NCAA championship is on the line. 

I'm sure in 25 years, Maryland and Indiana will feel that way, or Maryland and Michigan will have that magic.

Follow Sam on Twitter (@SamSpiegs)

 

Tags: ACC, Big 10, Florida State, Kevin Anderson, Maryland, Maryland Terrapins, NCAA, Terps, Wallace Loh

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