Like it or lump it, it's now happening: the University of Maryland's Board of Regents voted earlier today to authorize the University to move from the ACC to the Big Ten, a move that was shortly followed by an approved application for Big Ten membership. The University is now the newest Big Ten school.
Rutgers is expected to follow in short order as the conference's 14th member. The switch appears to be lined up to occur in the 2014-15 season, giving the Terrapins one more full year in the ACC before they up sticks.
The move has come rapidly and largely without warning, with major news sources only picking up on the movement days ago. That's left the fanbase reeling while they try to come to grips situation, with mixed results. Reaction among fans has varied, with the loss of ACC tradition - Maryland was a founding member back in 1953 - a major sticking point among many detractors. But the bonus to the academic side of the University, the added stability afforded by the Big Ten, and a substantially larger annual payout - a particularly big factor for Maryland's destitute and indebted athletic department - were all too much to turn down.
Initial reports that the Board of Regents votes was unanimous were inaccurate - Tom McMillen was a high-profile dissenter - but it appears that the measure did pass relatively comfortably. Maryland immediately applied for Big Ten membership afterwards, and was accepted within a matter of minutes.
The press conference is scheduled at 3:00, and there will be live coverage on the Big Ten Network.
We've already talked at length about the motivating factors behind the move, so we won't rehash them here. We'll update as more information rolls in.