Conference realignment will likely never end and today it will get even crazier. In a press conference this afternoon scheduled for 2:00 that will be aired, incredibly, on The Big Ten Network, Rutgers will announce its intentions to leave the Big East conference and join the Big Ten. It will assuredly follow the same pattern as the move announced by Maryland yesterday, meaning the school will play in the Big East for the 2013-2014 season and begin play in the Big Ten for the 2014-2015 season.
#Rutgers to hold presser today at 2 pm with President Robert Barchi, AD Tim Pernetti & Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany.— Jason Baum (@JasonBaumRU) November 20, 2012
This move has been rumored since late last week and should not come as a surprise to readers. The loss of one Big East member would hurt, but wouldn't necessarily be fatal. The problem for the Big East now will be all of the downstream effects. The ACC will need to replace Maryland and the Big East will surely provide the replacement (rumored to be between Louisville and UConn).
Losing two football playing members will throw so much of the future plans of the conference into jeopardy. The western schools and former C-USA members all have revenue projection agreements that allow them to back out of the move without penalty if the future television contract isn't worth what is projected.
Losing UConn and Rutgers will only hurt the television deal and at the end of all of this, there could be nothing left. It sounds alarmist, but these plans are all very fragile and so many individual parts depend on other parts so heavily that any one thing going wrong throws the entire enterprise into question. We'll try not to overreact or speculate too much as things are announced, so stick around as we cover the latest drama surrounding the Big East and its future.