Look, I think the whole expansion talk gets as overdone and annoying as you do. But when the biggest news of the day is receiving a new beat writer and there's some expansion stuff to talk about, I'm going to talk about it.
Personally, I'm just waiting for the realignment deal to be over, and it nearly was. But then comes this, from Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez:
"I'm not sure about continued expansion, but it would not surprise me. Our commissioner (Jim Delany) thinks outside the box and is always thinking how to be progressive and proactive," Alvarez said. "We will continue to study expansion throughout this year. It would not surprise me if we continue to expand. We've always talked about and had research done that we haven't taken full advantage of Penn State being in the east and we need someone else in the league from the east to maximize Penn State. It wouldn't surprise me if we went that way."
Of course, that's speculation, and not very exact. But it's inexact speculation from a very powerful, very informed man, and it's more solid information than I've heard from anyone else.
Unfortunately, this might signify that realignment - and discussion over it - isn't done yet, and may get more intense. If the Big Ten wants to go to 14, they'll do it. And if they want to go east, then Maryland would easily be one of the top candidates. You already know the whys and why nots, but it's highly possible that all that could change with the two very important hires coming up.
Maryland still needs to find a president and an AD. If either of those have Midwest ties, belief in the Big Ten's academic superiority and desire to be a part of it, or hopes for stronger football, it's very possible that Maryland - unlike they did under Dan Mote or ACC-centric Debbie Yow - would be receptive to or even campaign for a spot. Yow has a history in the ACC, and was emotionally attached.
If the new AD is Joe Castiglione or a guy like Dan Gavitt, would it's tough to imagine they'd have the same emotional connection. I'm less knowledgeable about the president hire, but he and Board of Regents will be making a very difficult decision if this happens.
For some readers, this stuff is exciting. For others, it's annoying. Whichever way, though, it doesn't figure to go away for good anytime soon.