On Monday Maryland made its move from the ACC to the Big 10 official. On Sunday I published a piece voicing my displeasure with the (potential) move, and believe it or not a couple of days later my opinion hasn’t changed. This is a joke and goes as further proof that conference realignment has gotten out of control. In fact this move doesn’t make sense for just about any reason other than money (and even then it doesn’t make much).
This move will hinder the Terrapins competitively for what could be an extended period of time. Maryland, at this moment, does not have a good football program and their situation in men’s basketball isn’t much better. The change in conference will severely alter the Terps recruiting grounds. Maryland will now have to recruit in the northeast rather than the south. Not to mention the fact that they will have to recruit against the likes of teams like Ohio State and Michigan, rather than Virginia and North Carolina.
In football, the Terrapins have been historically bad against the Big 10. Maryland’s record against Big 10 opponents is 4-44-1. Recently, they haven’t been much better against the ACC, but the Terrapins will be the punching bag of the Big 10 during its first couple of years in the league.
Let’s face it, this move was made strictly out of greed. The University of Maryland wants the money from the Big 10 Network as well as the media rights for the conference that will be renegotiated in 2017. However, it will cost the university $50 million dollars to leave the ACC in the first place, so is it really worth it?
Apparently President Wallace Loh and the board of directors believe it is. They also seem to believe that they may be able to negotiate the exit fee down a bit. I doubt that is actually the case; there is absolutely no reason to lower the exit fee. It was raised in order to stabilize the conference and prevent such defections. The ACC shouldn’t even think about lowering the fee for Maryland. The conference has nothing to gain and money to lose. The public perception of Commissioner John Swofford and the ACC as a whole is reasonably high, and lowering the fee won’t help it in any tangible way.
If Maryland wants to leave, then let them and gain an extra $50 million while you’re at it. That money can be dispersed throughout the conference and help every program at the Terrapins detriment.
I still think that this is a huge mistake for Maryland, but I guess only time will tell whether or not it was the right move.