EXPANDAGEDDON 2012: Maryland, Rutgers to join the Big Ten

Mitchell Layton

The next dominoes fall in the realignment game, as Maryland and Rutgers join the Big Ten, adding the New York, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore markets to the Big Ten television footprint.

Per ESPN:

The University of Maryland's Board of Regents on Monday voted unanimously to accept an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference and leave the Atlantic Coast Conference, sources told ESPN on Monday.

The board unanimously approved the move to the Big Ten, a regent told ESPN. An afternoon announcement is expected.

Sources also said that Rutgers is expected to follow the Terrapins and will announce its own move from the Big East to the Big Ten, possible as early as Tuesday. A Scarlet Knights move would give the Big Ten 14 members.

With TV negotiations coming up soon, this move is about adding three big markets, New York, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to the Big Ten's television footprint. Its also the move likely to set off the next round of conference realignment, as the ACC will need to replace Maryland, likely with Connecticut or Louisville, and the Big East will need to replace two football playing members (one to replace Rutgers, and one to replace whatever team the ACC pillages). My initial gut reaction is that Big East would court East Carolina, and either UMass or Buffalo, needing to replace two of their easternmost teams.

Who knows what this sets off with the SEC or Big 12, but the Pac-12 is likely to stay put. Since the conference passed on Oklahoma and Oklahoma State two summers ago, there just aren't any other viable options out there.

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