WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

London: Maryland's Move to Big Ten a "Shock"

It's the second-longest active streak for the Virginia football team against any opponent. The Cavaliers have faced Maryland every season since 1957, including this year's 27-20 Terrapin win in Charlottesville last month.

But that streak will soon end, following Maryland's announcement on Monday that the school's athletic programs will leave the ACC to compete in the Big Ten, starting with the 2014-15 school year.

"That came as a shock and as a surprise," Virginia football coach Mike London said Monday afternoon.

"I think Maryland was one of the original members in the ACC for over 60 years, I believe," London said. "You know, again, it appears that schools are making decisions based on what's in the best interest of their universities. Obviously there are financial implications to it. But it's been a shock."

Maryland's Board of Regents voted to accept the Big Ten's invitation Monday morning. At a news conference Monday afternoon, university president Wallace D. Loh said the move would "ensure the financial vitality of Maryland Athletics for decades to come."

Maryland joins South Carolina as the only schools to ever leave the ACC. The Gamecocks left in 1971 to become an independent, and now play in the SEC.

Reports on Monday said Rutgers was expected to follow Maryland to the Big Ten, with an announcement as soon as Tuesday. And the ACC will soon add a trio of former Big East school -- Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and in all sports but football, Notre Dame.

"It seems like everybody is switching conferences these days," Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco said Monday. "I know Maryland is a big rival of ours so it's crazy it's happening. But it seems like it's happening a lot. That's what the new thing is, to just switch conferences."

"I believe Rutgers is going, as well," London said, "and I know with us just getting Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame that at the end of all this conference realignment may not be over. Kind of a wait and see moment now what happens from here on out."


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