We got our chance to talk about our future ACC rivals in the "Meet Your New Neighbors" series. Now those same folks that we lightly poked fun at get to offer up their own opinions of us! Each week, I'll be posting Q&A responses from one of the 12 current ACC schools, and I'll also be submitting to some questioning on their respective sites, too. It should be fun, and if we're lucky, people might get as angry as they did in the Virginia Tech profile comment thread.
This week, we get to chat with Testudo Times' Ben Broman. While some Terps fans appear to have their respective eyes on the Big Ten (not the only school trying to bail on us), Ben's still a fan of SU joining the ACC. Though Maryland is also trying to keep Johns Hopkins all to itself as a rival...
Also see our conversation with From the Rumble Seat.
Was Syracuse your first choice for ACC expansion?
TT: Actually, yes. 'Cuse and Pitt were pretty easily my two preferred options when the ACC was looking around, with UConn and Rutgers falling in behind if they ever wanted 16. By far the strongest and most stable programs in the Big East, and the ones that best fit in with the ACC. And we like lacrosse, too, so Syracuse was a nice bonus there. I was pretty delighted when it happened.
Are you guys happy with the ACC? We've heard some rumors you're interested in the Big Ten, but are they giving Maryland a serious look?
TT: If you mean "you guys" as the Maryland fanbase in general, it's going to vary based on who you ask. There's a very large group -- probably a majority, if I had to guess -- that wants to stay in the ACC. They tend to be basketball-focused and have a strong sentimental attachment to the ACC, given the whole "founding member" thing. But I've been on the Big Ten bandwagon for quite some time now, and with the recent disappointing TV deal, it's starting to pick up some steam. The travel could be problematic and losing the ability to play Duke/UNC (and laugh at State) on a regular basis will hurt, but the financial and academic benefits are far too much for me -- and, I think, for the administrators in College Park -- to ignore.As you say, though, the big question is whether or not the Big Ten wants us. I don't know for sure, but I'd like to think that Maryland is one of their most attractive options after Notre Dame. There are some definite positives, particularly the ability to deliver two sizable markets (at least more than anyone else can), a potentially very good basketball program, and the academic strength of the university. Football is a concern and Randy Edsall is obviously scary as hell at the head of the program, but the administration is pouring money in and Under Armour is looking to make Maryland their Nike, so there's potential there. If they were going to add two to four more, Maryland would at least be in that conversation.