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.
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.