Re: 2012/13 Observation Deck
Conferences meaning nothing anymore.
The ACC is no longer what the ACC used to be. Same with the Pac-10, Big 12, and Big Ten. I was against VPI, BC, and Miami joining the conference and they have done very little since. That slowly started the deterioration of that conference.
It's all about money and, for some schools, power. Maryland is a cash strapped university and they are leaving, despite a huge grumble in their fanbase, because the Big Ten offers significantly more money. I don't believe Maryland offers much to the Big Ten other than DC tv markets. That's enough, though. I also believe part of the reason Delaney went after Maryland is because the ACC took Notre Dame. Or to a greater extent, the deal to which the ACC took with Notre Dame.
The ACC still has to worry about FSU and, potentially, Clemson leaving as well. Maryland is going say that the fee is "legally unenforceable" to try deal less than the 50 mil exit fee. Therefore it puts the ACC in situation where they either puss out and let Maryland out the door for less (and leaving the notion that the new exit fee holds no ground -- namely for FSU) or having to deal with a long and expensive law suit which will undeniably bring horrible PR.
For the sake of the conference, Swofford has to go with the law suit, no? If FSU leaves then you might as well start the obituary for the ACC because there is no conceivable way it survives. It will essentially become the Big East.
This is why we can't have nice things.