Just as the Big East officially added Tulane and East Carolina as futures members Tuesday afternoon, it appears another is looking to jump ship.
Maryland announced a little over a week ago that it would be departing the ACC for the Big Ten in 2014, a move that may or may not come with a $50 million exit fee. The early speculation was that UConn was a near-lock to replace the Terps if the ACC added just one more team to get back to 14 future members, with Louisville holding an outside shot as well.
Both of those schools are Big East members, as is Cincinnati, which according to ESPN.com “is making a strong push to gain admittance to the ACC with a campaign about why the school is a more viable option than fellow Big East members Connecticut and Louisville.”
UC’s approach in its pitch to the ACC is reportedly multi-pronged, including the success of the football/basketball programs over the last several years; the Cincinnati television market — No. 35 in 2011-12 according to Nielsen, putting it below Hartford (30th) and above Louisville (48th); “the fertile Ohio football recruiting ground,” which is currently and will continue to be lorded over by Ohio State and Urban Meyer when it comes to prime football recruits; and the university as a research institution.
The source told the the website’s Andy Katz that “Cincinnati officials are cautiously optimistic that the Bearcats are in step with both Louisville and UConn if the ACC were to choose just one school to replace Maryland.”
The ACC has no timeline, at least publicly, on when it will replace Maryland.