Nov 17, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights players celebrate at the end of the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium. Rutgers defeated Cincinnati 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Conference Shuffle Far From Over

November 11, 2011; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals athletic director Tom Jurich (right) presents head coach Rick Pitino (left) the game ball and framed portrait after defeating Tennessee Martin 83-48 for his 600th win. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE

Just when you think the conference realignment discussions are almost complete, the Big Ten decides to shake it up. It was announced today that the Big Ten is holding advanced conversations with Maryland and Rutgers.

The pursuit of current Big East member Rutgers and ACC member Maryland could reopen Louisville’s opportunities to find a home in the ACC. Most of this activity is being tied to the Big Ten Network attempting to establish viewership on the east coast. Of course the goal and reasoning all comes back to money.

Even though the Big East just announced it’s football realignment this week, that could change. The Big East settled on two six-team divisions and the addition of a conference championship game. If Rutgers departs and possibly others, back to the drawing board.

Over the past year, the Big East has lost West Virginia to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC. To counter, the Big East added Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and Southern Methodist from Conference USA and San Diego State and Boise State from the Mountain West.

If Louisville is able to depart for the ACC, the Big East may go with two five-team divisions for football. UofL would also beef up the basketball strength for the ACC.

This may be UofL and Athletic Director Tom Jurich’s last chance to exit the Big East and move on. While the Big East has been a good move for UofL, for football growth a switch to the ACC would provide great exposure. It would also energize a fan base and pack Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium every home game.

Today proved the realignment scramble within big time college athletics is far from over. Let’s hope UofL is well positioned for the future.

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