Report: Big Ten Has Evaluated Vanderbilt as Potential Expansion Target

Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

Nope, this isn't from a message board.

So remember that thing the ACC did yesterday that probably closed the door on realignment for a while? Maybe it did, maybe it didn't according to Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald:

The trendy instant reaction Monday to news that members of the Atlantic Coast Conference agreed to a "grant of rights" clause for its television and media was that it would halt realignment. ...

Several old friends in the business of college athletics I talked to Monday said they wouldn’t bet their own money on that.

These people — from conference offices and major-college athletic departments — all agreed that any number of lawyers would be delighted to challenge those deals in court.

So, the ACC ended the nice round of realignment. Anything further would require a nasty court battle, one even uglier than the upcoming one between Maryland and the ACC over the league's $50 million exit fee. Barfknecht's "buddy" has a point:

As one buddy with a wicked sense of humor said, "Do you really think Texas would sign up for something it couldn’t get out of?"

Yeah, no, probably not.

Anyway, the Big Ten has been the subject of realignment rumors for a while, with it supposedly having designs on schools from the heart of the ACC like Virginia and UNC. Who else might it have checked out?

As a sidenote, two sources have told The World-Herald that the Big Ten has done prior "homework" on Oklahoma, Kansas and Vanderbilt among other schools who might some day be expansion targets. The Big 12 grant-of-rights deal didn’t stop a look-see for OU and KU.

Oh, Jim Delany. You never cease to provide laughs. I guess it makes sense for the league to take a look at Vandy on some level, given that it fits the template of being an AAU member in a major metropolitan area (1.6M people in the metro area as of 2010). But no. No one is leaving the SEC to join your empire.

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