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Sounds Like Maryland Wants to Keep Its Conference Realignment Options Open, Just a Little

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Not yet sold.
Not yet sold.

So, remember when the ACC upped its buyout fee for teams trying to leave the conference from $12-15mil to $20mil in order to keep its members in line? Yeah, well, originally the number was in the $34mil range, until Florida State and Maryland talked the rest down to $20m.

Which is intriguing, of course, because both FSU and Maryland are expected to have options should other conferences come calling, with the SEC an outside shot for the Noles and the Big Ten (and maybe the SEC) as outside shots for the Terrapins. $34mil would almost guarantee that no member school could leave without a pretty crazy deal waiting for it; $20mil, while difficult, could be feasible in the right set of circumstances.

That's pretty much what Maryland (and FSU) did - make leaving the conference inconvenient as opposed to flat-out impossible. And honestly, that's what it should've been anyway; I'm a little shocked that most schools would be okay with essentially signing their life away to the ACC with that buyout.

I'd still say that it's very unlikely that there's going to be any change - remember that the vote took place before Syracuse and Pitt were accepted into the conference, and that $20mil is still a lot of money (in fact, it's about twice the amount of what Nebraska paid to get out of the B12). But the Big Ten or the SEC would still likely offer more money for FSU or MD than the new ACC, and there's the Big Ten academic connections to consider, too (and Wallace Loh's Big Ten past). I didn't think the rollercoaster was over before, and I still don't think it's over now.