Maryland Ejects From ACC For Big Ten Payday, And Here The Heck We Go Again

Eric Francis

Maryland officially announced Monday that the school is leaving the ACC for the Big Ten, which obviously leaves a hole to fill for John Swofford and company, and sweet merciful crap, are dominoes going to start falling again?

There are a number factors which could affect the likelihood of more movement, and it's just too early in this process to accurately measure their impacts. The ACC has a $50 million exit fee, but will it be able to get the full amount out of the Terps, and if not, might Florida State and/or Clemson begin to re-think the possibility of a move to the Big XII?

Maryland's departure is a worrisome sign for the ACC, and it adds instability--or the perception of instability--to the league. The ACC's leadership had managed to avoid this sort of thing during the last realignment hullabaloo, but they were hit with a major dose of reality this time around. The ACC cannot match the payouts that the SEC, Big Ten, or Big XII have to offer, so it doesn't have a whole hell of a lot of leverage.

The ACC is accelerating its discussions about a new member, and we could have one in the near future. Whether that restores the stability the league enjoyed before being poached remains to be seen. Louisville would be a net gain in the revenue sports, but UConn--which may be the most likely candidate--seems to present little long-term value. It'd be nice if this were five years from now and we could get a sense of how the Huskies' basketball program is going to perform post-Calhoun. But no addition is really going to make a difference in the mindsets of the folks at Florida State--if Maryland breaking the ice causes a shift in thinking. The Seminoles will be watching the exit fee negotiations closely, no doubt.

Clay Travis has been banging this drum for quite a while now, and hey, here he is again:

"For sure," huh.

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