Big Ten Conference realignment: Maryland approves invite, Rutgers expected to be next

Joe Robbins

The University of Maryland has approved a move to the Big Ten Conference, and Rutgers University is expected to do the same Tuesday according to ESPN's Brent McMurphy.

The Maryland Terrapins athletic program official accepted an invite to join the Big Ten Conference, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy and Dana O'Neil, and now the rest of the conference realignment dominoes, which heavily include the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, will now fall.

According to the Daily Record's Keith Sargeant, Rutgers University is expected to follow suit and apply for a membership in the Big Ten, which would add the TV markets of New York City and New Jersey.

A source familiar with the situation said Sunday that if Maryland opts to leave, Rutgers could announce its intentions to join the Big Ten as early as Tuesday.

(Update: Sources have told ESPN's McMurphy, Rutgers will announce Tuesday.)

The Star-Ledger's Tom Luicci is reporting Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti has authority to accept any conference invite, and does not need a Board of Governors approval.

That means the decision to leave the Big East Conference for the Big Ten can be made more quickly. If Pernetti does except an invite from the Big Ten its expected to help earn the school millions of more dollars in revenue -- according to Dave Heller, a Wisconsin Badgers blogger for the Journal Sentinel, the Big East annually pays each league member $6 million per year while the Big Ten pays out over $24 million.

Luicci is also reporting that Rutgers could accept an invitation today if one is formally extended.

Interestingly, the Scarlet Knights' possible move to the Big Ten could come days before they possibly lock up the league's automatic BCS bowl berth. Currently, Rutgers is 9-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big East, and needs a victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers this Saturday and loss by the Louisville Cardinals to achieve that feat.

If Rutgers doesn't lock up the conference title this week, it can Nov. 29 when it faces the Cardinals in a head-to-head match up at High Point Solutions Stadium.

-- For more on this story check back to SB Nation New York.

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