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

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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.