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The University of Maryland is in serious negotiations to join the Big Ten Conference, sources told ESPN.com on Saturday.

If Maryland goes to the Big Ten, Rutgers of the Big East is expected to follow suit. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers would give the Big Ten 14 members as the league gears toward negotiations on a new media rights deal when its first-tier rights expire in 2017.

No date has been set for an potential announcement, though it could come as soon as Monday.

Maryland president Wallace Loh has been handling the conversation with Big Ten officials, a source said.

One source told ESPN.com that Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson has informed key staffers that there are ongoing discussions.

One stumbling block for Maryland could be finances. Maryland's athletic department has recently dropped sports because of budget issues, and the ACC recently raised its exit fee to $50 million.

Maryland and Florida State were the only two out of 12 schools that voted against a $50 million exit fee out of the ACC, but lost the vote. Loh was quoted in the Washington Post on Sept. 13 that he was against the hike from $20 to $50 million on "legal and philosophical" grounds. The Post reported that Loh said Maryland planned to be in the ACC for years to come.

Maryland recently dropped seven sports and having to pay $50 million would be hard to digest for the athletic department and campus.

A source told ESPN.com that the Big Ten has been itchy about further expansion since Notre Dame made its official move to the ACC two months ago in all sports other than football. The source said the Big Ten can justify Maryland and then possibly Rutgers since they are all contiguous states to the Big Ten footprint.

One source told ESPN.com that Loh and Anderson don't have ACC ties so there wouldn't be a strong emotional pull to stay with the conference. Loh is a former provost at Big Ten member Iowa.

However, the chancellor of the Maryland system, Brit Kirwan, has been on the Maryland campus for 30 years and has strong affiliation for being a charter member of the ACC, according to a source.

One source with Maryland ties said there is a strong affinity for the ACC and making the move to the Big Ten may not be a unanimous decision among the school's board of regents.

Big Ten officials did not respond to numerous requests seeking comment. ACC officials also did not respond to a request for comment. Maryland officials would not comment when asked after the Terps' football game on Saturday.

If these dominoes were to fall then Connecticut would emerge as the next most likely candidate to fill Maryland in the ACC. The ACC will be at 14 members in 2013-14 with the addition of the Big East's Pitt and Syracuse and 15 in all sports except football when Notre Dame joins, which could be as early as the fall of 2013.

Rutgers' exit fee from the Big East would be less expensive. The buyout to leave the Big East is $10 million if the school provides 27 months of notice before leaving. However, the league has allowed West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse to leave the league without honoring the 27-month requirement by paying a higher exit fee.

The loss of Rutgers would be the latest in a long line of teams fleeing the Big East. The Scarlet Knights would be the ninth member of the Big East to leave or announce they were leaving the league since 2004. Six of those defections have occurred in the past year -- Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame to the ACC; TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12 and Rutgers to the Big Ten.

The Scarlet Knights were charter members of the Big East's football conference, which began in 1991.

Maryland also was a charter member of the ACC, one of eight schools to start the league in 1953.

Both Maryland and Rutgers are members of the AAU (Association of American Universities), something vital to Big Ten presidents. The addition of the two East Coast schools would dramatically stretch the Big Ten's footprint. With Maryland holding down the Beltway, Rutgers offering up the New York market and Penn State the league has a solid anchor in the mid-Atlantic states.

Maryland and Rutgers would also make the nation's richest conference even wealthier. Last season, each Big Ten school received a record $24.6 million in shared revenue, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. One source said the success of the Big Ten Network is an intriguing factor for Maryland.

If the two schools join the Big Ten, it would reopen what many thought was a stable time in the conference realignment process. The Big Ten joins the SEC as a legitimate 14-team superconference, while the ACC drops to 13 football members and likely will pursue another all-sports member to get back to 14.

ACC commissioner John Swofford said at ACC media day and during the news conference when the Irish were added that the league wouldn't go beyond 14 football members and could easily exist with an odd number (15) in men's and women's basketball. But if a football member were to leave, the ACC would likely have to make a move.

Maryland, meanwhile, will become only the second school to leave the ACC. South Carolina was the other, leaving in 1971 to become an independent. The Gamecocks are now members of the Southeastern Conference.

In the past few years, the nation's top five conferences -- SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC -- have added a total of 10 new members, causing a domino effect throughout the college landscape from coast to coast.
http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8644587/maryland-terrapins-rutgers-scarlet-knights-talks-join-big-ten-conference-sources-say
 

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The Underarmour guy is a booster at Maryland, right? It doesn't sound like the move will happen unless the athletics department finds some cash.
 

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Hahahaha, god damn, what have we done.

I'm going to use this as a conference realignment thread. Let's assume that the B1G and the SEC are going to end up at 16. This seems like the logical end point for all of this. This is not a good thing for the ACC. Ideally here's what would happen:

Clemson and FSU to the SEC; UNC and Virginia to the B1G. SEC cares about football, B1G cares about academics (apparently).

UNC and NC State have the same board of regents, so this is now unlikely. There was some assumption that it would be NC State to the SEC and UNC to the B1G, which leaves out one of Clemson or FSU. Virginia and Virginia Tech could have a similar conflict (I'm not completely sure). I guess the B1G wants to force itself into SEC country, so Georgia Tech has been rumored which is the stupidest plan I've ever heard. Anyway, this leaves the door open for maybe Clemson or FSU not getting a big conference move. It also, leaves the door open for the SEC to spurn Florida State, which IMO is the best opportunity for the B1G to reach into SEC country if that's what they really wanted to do.

The ACC will probably be fine with Syracuse, Pitt, UConn, and Louisville replacing the schools they lose. The problem arises if the Big 12 makes a play for anyone else, because after those 4 I don't see any other natural replacements aside from Notre Dame (who just won't do it... I'm talking about only football now, they are already on the way for everything else) and then you're talking about schools like Cincy, Temple, UCF, USF, and maybe Memphis.
 

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Jesus Shuttlesworth
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I'm confused. But the Big Ten is making worthless additions trying to remain relevent - but these actions are causing the opposite
 

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if this ends up with fsu/clemson in the big 12, i'm down.

i heard someone talking about the big ten going after kansas/unc, but haven't seen it anywhere else so it was probably just bullshit (at least the kansas part).
 

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I'm confused. But the Big Ten is making worthless additions trying to remain relevent - but these actions are causing the opposite
How is this making them irrelevant. The Big Ten gets a East Coast, New York presence which is big for recruiting, but this is really about money. They will be negotiating a new TV deal within the next few years and this is certainly going to help in that regard.
 

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Jesus Shuttlesworth
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How is this making them irrelevant. The Big Ten gets a East Coast, New York presence which is big for recruiting, but this is really about money. They will be negotiating a new TV deal within the next few years and this is certainly going to help in that regard.
Living in the heart of Big Ten Country my entire life, I personally like having regional conferences. I Wasn't thinking about it from a financial standpoint though - I think adding these teams just weakens the school's strength of schedule and doesn't improve the overall perception of the conference when comparing them to other BCS Conferences
 

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I have to argue against it weakening their strength of schedule. I mean the Badgers are playing teams like UTEP and Northern Iowa on an annual basis. I would rather have Rutgers and Maryland in mix as opposed to a bunch of scrub teams from scrub conferences.
 

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Not the New York market, but maybe New Jersey and that state is a lot bigger than we all realize. And they probably have more living alumni than Michigan, so like I said, the more people who subscribe to the BTN, the better.
 

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Not the New York market, but maybe New Jersey and that state is a lot bigger than we all realize. And they probably have more living alumni than Michigan, so like I said, the more people who subscribe to the BTN, the better.
i could definitely be wrong, it just seems like no one gives a shit about them. even when they had ray rice and now they're 9-1 and it seems like still no one cares. but AAU school makes them fit in with the academics and if they help bring in more money then obviously that's all that really matters.
 

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if this ends up with fsu/clemson in the big 12, i'm down.

i heard someone talking about the big ten going after kansas/unc, but haven't seen it anywhere else so it was probably just bullshit (at least the kansas part).

If FSU and Clemson go anywhere, it's Big 12. They were starting that up before ND decided to put a toe in the door of the ACC and added a 50M exit fee. If Maryland and others in future can get out, it won't stop others.

I think VT will then leave for SEC like they were planning before ND (**** you ND) if it happens. They're waiting for that domino.
 

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Jesus Shuttlesworth
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I have to argue against it weakening their strength of schedule. I mean the Badgers are playing teams like UTEP and Northern Iowa on an annual basis. I would rather have Rutgers and Maryland in mix as opposed to a bunch of scrub teams from scrub conferences.
So do you anticipate the Big Ten will increase the amount of conference games per season? If that's the case, I'll be pleased with this move. I'm anticipating teams will still play their four out-of-conference games though and now you just have Maryland and Rutgers in the mix which means you may not play Michigan/Ohio St/Nebraska every year...those are the games that will be replaced with Maryland/Rutgers
 

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Solid move for the Big 10. They are trying to increase the market of the BTN and pushing it in the New York/DC/Maryland market is a great way to do so.
 
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