ESPN report: UConn likely replacement for Maryland

Ready for conference realignment drama? Brett McMurphy, the unofficial mouthpiece of Big Football, is reporting that the Big Ten Conference is in advance talks with Maryland and Rutgers about switching conferences.

The power brokers, already reaping multi-million increases in additional dollars from new television contracts and the new college football playoffs want still more money and power. You can bet that ESPN is involved somehow, with the Big East in the midst of negotiating TV rights with other networks. Photo

Further expansion is not going to increase the attractiveness of the product. But it will get the Big Ten into the heavily populated markets of the New York and Baltimore-Washington areas, putting them on more TV sets. Makes sense but when’s the last time you watched a Big Ten football game?

If Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten, what does that mean for the University of Louisville? ACC Commissioner John Swofford indicated during a media day conference that if the conference lost a member, the conference would probably have to make a move.

It may be significant that the first ESPN report of the rumor suggests Connecticut (UConn) as the most likely replacement. The writer probably checked with the guy in the corner office on the top floor before speculating on the next move.

Until the Big 12 gets over its smugness/inertia and gets realignment fever again, UofL will probably still be on the outside looking in. The best move the Big 12 could make would be to grab both Louisville and Cincinnati, which have decent TV markets and are heavily invested in their football programs.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

4 thoughts on “ESPN report: UConn likely replacement for Maryland”

  1. Charlie, I didn’t hear that report. Soon there will be no Big East. Louisville will be the best team, but recruiting will be destroyed. Charlie Strong will pretty much have no choice but to leave Louisville and a below sub par conference.

  2. Bill, the Big East is making a lot of money from teams leaving and there still appears to be some good TV money available so the league will be around for a while. We’re both more worried about Louisville anyway so we’ll keep bobbing and weaving until we find a opening outta here.

  3. What’s with all the anti-Louisville sentiment from ESPN, CBS, and other the other major conferences? It makes no sense either logical, financial, or market exposure. As a business person, it almost has a surreal feel about it.

    1. It really doesn’t make any sense not to pick Louisville with the quality of its overall athletic program and fan support. I think some people are making some monumental mistakes with all the assumptions they are making about TV sets. Someone is going to have to pay through the teeth for the mistakes.

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