Nobody actually thinks the Big Ten is done expanding. At least, I don't. As long as there's more money to be had out there I can't help but believe that Jim Delany is going to go after it. Even after the conference added both Maryland and Rutgers -- catching just about everyone off-guard -- there were still rumors that the conference was in the market for two more teams.
If you're going to go to 14 you might as well go to 16, right?
Well, we know that if the Big Ten is going to expand further it's going to look toward the ACC. There's nothing in the Big East worth taking and the rest of the major conferences are too stable. Many of the rumors have circulated around North Carolina (Delany's alma mater), Virginia and Georgia Tech, and according to a report from Orangebloods.com, the Big Ten has already kicked their tires.
Multiple sources in the Big 12 told Orangebloods.com on Wednesday the Big Ten has tried to gauge the interest of Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia about possibly joining Maryland in the Big Ten. But the sources said those schools have indicated to the Big Ten thanks but no thanks - for now.
Now this is where I point out that over the last few years, since all the commissioners started treated schools like baseball cards, Orangebloods has written many reports about potential realignment. Some of them have managed to be true. The majority were just words on a screen. The only reason I'm even writing about this is because whether this report is accurate or not, it's still a likely scenario.
Like I said, the Big Ten is going to expand again at some point. I'm certain of it.
And those three schools listed are the most likely targets, with Georgia Tech the favorite because of the Atlanta market. I just don't think anything can happen until we see the result of Maryland's departure from the ACC. The conference wants Maryland to pay a $50 million buyout fee and Maryland is doing everything in its power to make sure it doesn't have to pay nearly that much.
The lawyers be looking for loopholes. Well, some of the lawyers. The lawyers that aren't looking for those loopholes are likely blogging about sports.
Anyway, until there's a resolution in Maryland's departure from the ACC, no other school is going to make a move. But I'm fairly certain that should Maryland get out of its ACC contract with a more reasonable exit fee then Delany will have his pick of ACC schools to choose from.
And we'll have to get used to the idea of Georgia Tech and North Carolina or Virginia in the Big Ten.