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University of Maryland and Rutgers University set to join Big Ten Conference

According to sources who are familiar with the situation, the University of Maryland, College Park and Rutgers University are in talks to join the Big Ten Conference. At the University of Maryland, a decision to change conferences may be made within the next few days.

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Tulane to move to Big East conference

If there was any question whatsoever about what matters most in college athletics, simply turn your attention to the conference that has nearly completed its complex strategy to expand to the east, west, south and north somewhat.

Today the Big East is expected to announce the addition of Tulane as a full member and East Carolina as a football-only member. Jason Kirk of SB Nation laid out what the Tulane move - of most relevance to us as basketball fans - means for the Big East.

Adding Tulane would give the Big East another major media market and a school with a good academic reputation, but nothing in the way of serious sports success (football has been to two bowls since 1987, and basketball hasn't made the NCAA Tournament since 1995). It would also add yet another mark on the very broad map that is the future Big East, expanding the whole thing even further away from the Northeastern basketball cluster it was born as.

If you were wondering what would become of the Big East with Rutgers departing and Connecticut and Louisville being prime candidates for the ACC, there you have it.

For more on the domino effect of Rutgers moving to the Big "Ten", check out our conference expansion storystream.


Expansion a big win for B1G women's hoops

Patricia Babcock McGraw of the Daily Herald weighed in on the Big Ten's expansion yesterday writing that, "From a purely competitive standpoint, the Big Ten’s biggest win in this expansion might be in women’s hoops."

Both Rutgers and Maryland have been perennial Top 25 teams in women's basketball over the last decade or so. And both are getting national attention this season. Maryland is ranked 10th in the current AP Top 25 poll, while Rutgers is receiving votes.

Rutgers has had 20-win seasons 12 times in the last 14 seasons and has been to two Final Fours since 2000 (2000 and 2007). Meanwhile, Maryland has averaged 25 wins a season since 2003 and won the NCAA championship in 2006...It's already a quality women's basketball conference. Adding teams such as Rutgers and Maryland will raise the league's profile.

Another interesting coincidence that Babcock McGraw highlighted is the familiarity of the programs' women's basketball coaches with the program: we've already described Maryland coach Brenda Frese's thoughts on returning to the Big Ten in a recent interview, but as many people also know Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer took the Iowa Hawkeyes to the 1993 Final Four.

For more on the impact of this expansion on women's basketball, check out Babcock McGraw's full article.


Why the ACC should choose Louisville over UConn

With the ACC looking for a new member, Connecticut and Louisville are apparently the primary targets.

Jason Kirk writes for that he doesn't see how there's any debate here, if you remove your orange bouncy thing colored glasses.

The ACC needs urgent football help more than it needs anything else -- the Cardinals would be the only ACC team besides Florida State and Clemson in the BCS rankings right now. The only way the ACC can show FSU and Clemson, which could also leave, that it's committed to football is to bring on a school that's proved it can supplement their bowl winnings -- that school is not UConn. Louisville has a legitimate BCS bowl win in the past decade, and could add another this year -- UConn's best team ever also might have been the worst BCS bowl team ever.

UConn has better academics and is closer to a metropolis. Banking on these things will not keep Florida State and Clemson around.

There are definitely reasons why UConn would be a better choice, but all this realignment mess is about is money and football brings that many times more than anything else.

For more on what this might mean for the Big East conference, visit our previous update in this storystream.


Interview: Brenda Frese excited about Big Ten move

Maryland Terrapins women's basketball coach Brenda Frese took some time to chat with Swish Appeal to preview the season, discuss how the team will respond to the loss of sophomore point guard Brene Moseley, and - of course - the school's move to the Big Ten.


What will become of the Big East conference?

Rutgers University's departure from the Big East might end up triggering a domino effect that leads to the dismantling of one of the more dominant conferences in women's college basketball in recent years (on the strength of UConn and Notre Dame's success alone, if nothing else).

Multiple reports have Boise State and San Diego State reconsidering their move to the Big East in light of recent developments, as described at yesterday, while BYU is also considering its move away from the MWC in light of playoff possibilities.

One of the primary reasons the Broncos and Aztecs moved to the Big East for football was the increase in television revenue. But now the Mountain West and Big East would be on equal footing for the playoffs because of the BCS' decision to grant an automatic berth to the highest ranked champion from the "Group of Five" conferences. Additionally, the Big East could be losing TV revenue with the departure of Rutgers and Louisville or Connecticut, meaning it may make more financial sense for Boise State and SDSU to remain in the Mountain West.

In addition to those potential defections, there have been rumors of the ACC now looking at either Connecticut or Louisville as a potential replacement for Maryland, which has also chosen to depart for the Big Ten with Rutgers. Mike Rutherford of SBN's Card Chronicle has outlined the pros and cons of UConn and UofL, obviously leaning toward the latter.

U of L is getting a lot of support right now from higher-ups at other universities who recognize how successful the program has been in athletics across the board (you know, like actual games, and stuff) since it joined the Big East. Also, Louisville sports make a lot of money.

There's a very easy case to be made for why Louisville should be the ACC's 14th member, but in the end it's going to come down to convincing a handful of individuals whose interests and priorities aren't clear.

Obviously, UConn is among the strongest women's basketball programs in the nation - if not the strongest - which would make the ACC a powerhouse basketball conference. But Louisville is a solid program as well and if geography ends up playing a factor in the decision - which doesn't seem like a given these days - the Cardinals might have an edge.


Rutgers expected to join Big Ten

The latest episode in the ongoing NCAA conference realignment saga has Rutgers reportedly deciding to accompany Maryland to the Big Ten and furthering the demise of the Big East.

SB Nation's Rutgers blog On the Banks has already laid the groundwork for the Big East's obituary.

Big East basketball on the other hand...there is no limit to the calamities that deserve to happen to the Providence College mafia that bled a once-proud conference dry. That's what kills me about all this. The Big East should have worked. It was not done in by anything other than internal sabotage. I hope the football schools survive, but all of the basketball-only programs will now hopefully sink back down to the irrelevance that they rightly earned. We WANTED a powerful eastern conference, we begged, pleaded, fought kicking and screaming to the very end when you cronies just wanted to loot everything blind for your glorified social club. This is the Jeremiad you deserve. Rot and decay in hell you unscrupulous bastards.


Back on March 12, Charles P. Pierce wrote for Grantland that, "The Big East is losing big teams and replacing them with smaller ones, because, as is the case with so many colleges in so many conferences around the country, the administrations of some of its members have let their greed eclipse both geography and common sense."

In related news, a clean version of DJ Quik's Dollars and Cents should get serious consideration for the NCAA's new theme song and help to present a conceptual framework for the new common sense that has emerged from the wreckage of amateur athletics.


Maryland moving to Big Ten

ESPN is reporting that the University of Maryland, College Park will join the Big Ten Conference and is expected to announce the move later this afternoon. There is no set date as to when the University will actually start playing in the conference at this time.

The University of Maryland is the first university to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), its current conference since the University of South Carolina left in 1971.


How would Maryland & Rutgers impact the Big Ten?

In addition to the question of how Maryland and Rutgers would pay the ACC's exit fee to join the conference, there's the question of what impact a move would have on the Big Ten.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports put together a pretty nice overview of Maryland and Rutgers' potential move to the Big Ten, highlighting why it's a risky move for the midwest conference and did give a nod to what the move would do for men's basketball in the conference.

The league would also add a tremendous basketball program at Maryland, a growing one at Rutgers and recruiting access to what is arguably the most talent-rich corridor in the country from New York to D.C. But when did basketball matter on this scale? And since when did the Big Ten, which currently boasts five ranked teams, including three of the top five, need help in hoops?

And while there are also terrific academics and a major population of regular students who may be more inclined to head to the Midwest, this will be seen through a football prism...The ACC offered generations of rivalries, was rooted in basketball – the sport that matters most with alums – and provided tremendous exposure to potential students up and down the East Coast.

In the end, though, the Big Ten brand might be too much to turn down. Even at $50 million, which will take years to recoup.

Obviously, if men's basketball doesn't matter on this scale as a revenue sport for most schools in the Big Ten, women's basketball isn't going to be part of this discussion. But it should be quite clear that this move vastly improves Big Ten women's basketball and might be particularly interesting for long-standing member Michigan: new coach Kim Barnes-Arico is obviously quite familiar with the New York-New Jersey recruiting scene and it might give her a bit of an edge compared to her new peers as the program grows.


Maryland and Rutgers In talks to move to Big Ten

According to sources who are familiar with the situation, the University of Maryland, College Park and Rutgers University are in talks to join the Big Ten Conference. At the University of Maryland, a decision to change conferences may be made within the next few days.

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