Rumors that Maryland will leave the Atlantic Coast Conference will exist from now until the end of time, given the way college football is right now. Just last year, there was all this chatter that Maryland was thinking about bolting to the Big 10. That didn't happen, and really, it wasn't that close to happening.
So here's this year's rumor. Apparently, the Big East wants Maryland, along with fellow ACC member Boston College. That's according to Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who talked to Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson about the issue at the Big East's football media day.
I had a long talk with Steve Pederson today about what it is exactly that he and Oliver Luck and the rest of the athletic directors from football-playing schools really want and he made it simple -- they want a league where every single year they don't have to worry about losing members to other leagues and that means they need long-term stability.
The dream scenario would be the current league, plus TCU and BC and Maryland and if three schools of that quality were added, then a 12th school could be a Villanova or Central Florida and the conference would clearly be better.
Well, hey, we all have dream scenarios for all different things in our life, but that doesn't mean there's any chance they happen. Does this "dream scenario" really have a chance? Here's Zeise's argument.
That brings the question - what exactly could the Big East offer Maryland and Boston College that they don't already have in the ACC?
Well, money, and that's where the high stakes poker game with television networks that the Big East - at the prodding of Pederson and company - comes into play.
Essentially, with the newly-merged Comcast/NBC group desperately looking to get into college football, the Big East hopes it can leverage a really good TV deal, either from them or by using them to pressure a better deal out of ESPN. If the Big East gets that deal, maybe Maryland, with their money issues, would be interested, and ...
Yeah, we'll just see about this rumor.