With the monumental shift of the college football landscape this weekend thanks to Pitt and Syracuse bolting the Big East for the ACC, it leaves a lot of Big East schools scrambling to find a new home while the conference seemingly collapses around them. One of those schools happens to be Rutgers, who had been reported to be one of two other Big East teams, UConn being the other, that may also join Pitt and Syracuse in a new 16-school ACC.
Which could still happen, as a report in The Star-Ledger says that Rutgers is talking to the ACC. Of course, it also says that the ACC isn't the only conference that Rutgers has been talking to, and that the Big Ten is in play as well.
Rutgers has been involved in talks with the ACC about possible membership over the past two days and its lines of communications with the Big Ten have remained opened and "are active," according to a highly-placed college official.The news that Rutgers is talking to the Big Ten shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Rutgers was mentioned as a possible target for Big Ten expansion last year before things cooled down and the Big Ten stood pat after adding Nebraska. When the Big Ten was still considering expansion it was looking east, but two of the conference's supposed targets were Pitt and Syracuse.
"Rutgers has been in contact with both conferences," the person said.
Two options no longer on the table.
While the Big Ten might be content to stay at 12 teams, it is somewhat hard to believe that Jim Delany would sit still while the SEC, Pac-12 and ACC all tried to expand to 16 schools apiece. The question is, where would the Big Ten go now? Rutgers seems to fit what the Big Ten is looking for both academically and market wise, as the conference believes adding the New York/New Jersey market for the Big Ten Network could increase revenue.
How much, exactly, I can't be sure. Yes, Rutgers is in a wonderful media market, but I'm not sure how much interest that market truly has in Rutgers. Either way, thanks to that market, Rutgers seems to find itself in a nice position at the moment.