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RUMORGASM: Conference Realignment/Hemorrhaging Could Continue: Bad News for ACC

Though it is very early in the stages, and the speculation should be taken with grains of salt, the Maryland 247 site is reporting that the B1G conference (formerly the Big 10/Big 11/not-Big 12/not-Big 14) has offered the University of North Carolina an invitation to join the conference. The expansion talks continue. Hot on the heels of this UNC offer are further rumors that Virginia would be next to exit the ACC, joining UNC and Maryland.

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With this continued expansion, the ACC might look to add more schools, bringing them to a solid, stable number (again). Or, in a move that would not benefit Louisville, other conferences may begin poaching current ACC member schools (Georgia Tech, Duke, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Miami, Florida State, Clemson, etc.). Florida State and Clemson have been rumored targets of the Big XII before. Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Florida State have all been rumored as potential targets if the SEC decided to expand (conversely, they've all been rumored as being "black-balled" by the SEC schools, too, so take that for what it's worth).

The news may be a glimmer of hope for schools like Cincinnati and UCONN. It could also be interpreted as pending doom for schools that just recently made the jump to the ACC (Syracuse, Pittsburgh, ND, Louisville).

If Virginia goes, does VaTech follow? If UNC goes, does Duke follow? Are these package deals? And if so, does the ACC backfill these schools with lesser universities?

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In my opinion, the B1G is bloated-bordering-on-rupturing. Jim Delany is a sly businessman, and I understand the desire to expand into new television markets. More markets = more money. But the brand that is/was the Big Ten is being watered down. The additions of Maryland and Rutgers left many fans scratching their heads. In building a super-conference, Delany may be bringing in fat sacks of cash for member schools, but he also pushes the line further than some traditional powerhouses enjoy. If the B1G continues to water down its product, I have to imagine that other conferences will continue the trend, not wanting to risk their current television contracts.

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Further reading indicates that the rumors are bountiful. One fact that runs throughout the reports, though, is that Cincinnati cannot wait to be a member of _____ (fill in the blank with whatever non-Big East conference you choose).

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