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Report: Maryland and Rutgers set to join the Big Ten

Just when you thought college football conference realignment was over, a stunning, late-breaking report from ESPN has Maryland and Rutgers potentially leaving their respective conferences to join the Big Ten.

We won’t waste any time and get right into the facts, which were provided via ESPN:  

The University of Maryland is in serious negotiations to join the Big Ten Conference, sources told ESPN.com on Saturday.

If Maryland goes to the Big Ten, Rutgers of the Big East is expected to follow suit. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers would give the Big Ten 14 members as the league gears toward negotiations on a new media rights deal when its first-tier rights expire in 2017.

No date has been set for an potential announcement, though it could come as soon as Monday.

Should the two schools leave, it could be the latest domino in the never-ending realignment conversation which has engulfed major college sports over the last few years.

With Maryland’s departure, the ACC would be down to 13 football schools and would likely try and fill that void by adding either UConn or Louisville from the Big East. From there the Big East would be left to scramble and pick up the pieces.

The one thing which could hold up the entire process, is the staggering $50 million exit fee that the ACC requires of any team trying to leave their conference.  

However, there is another late-breaking twist with this as well.

According to a recent Biz Journals report, Under Armour CEO and Maryland alumnus Kevin Plank recently cashed out $65 million worth of his own personal stock in the company.

Could he front the school the money needed to leave for the ACC?

We’ll find out soon enough.

For all his insight, articles and analysis on college football, please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.

About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.

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