Reports: Maryland in negotiations to enter the Big Ten

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Reports: Maryland in negotiations to enter the Big Ten

After more than five decades playing conference games along Tobacco Road, reports have emerged that the University of Maryland may soon be heading to the Midwest.

Yahoo and ESPN are reporting that the Maryland Terrapins are in negotiations to exit the Atlantic Coast Conference and join the Big Ten conference. Reports also indicate that the Big Ten would solidify its east coast reach by adding New Jersey's Rutgers University.

Some sources expect that an announcement of the new conference arrangement could come as early as next week. A charter member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, it would be considered a bombshell to many if the Terps exited the storied basketball conference.

In the current college sports landscape, football serves as the economic driver, and nowhere is football more lucrative than the Big Ten. The Big Ten Network, a cable television channel jointly operated by the conference and Fox Sports, is estimated to be seen in over 70 million homes. Maryland would give the Big Ten Network a more prominent presence in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore media markets. Rutgers would do the same in the New York City market.

Maryland has had financial struggles within its atheletic department, which recently forced the school to cut seven sports, including men's tennis and some track and field teams. While it is unknown what exactly the increased revenue from joining the Big Ten would allow the Terps atheletic department to do, it is clear that the move would increase funds.

Currently the ACC consists of Maryland, Boston College, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami. Syracuse and Pittsburgh will soon be joining the ACC, and Notre Dame is scheduled to join the conference for all sports except football. 

The Big Ten consists of Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska and Illinois. 

Virginia Tech Hokies football schedule 2016: Dates, times and where to watch

Virginia Tech Hokies football schedule 2016: Dates, times and where to watch

The Virginia Tech Hokies will begin the 2016 football season at Lane Stadium on Saturday, one week before the Battle at Bristol against Tennessee.

Justin Fuente's first game as head coach will come against the Liberty Flames. Here are the details: 

Who: Liberty Flames vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

What: Week 1 of the 2016 College football season

When: 12:30 p.m., ET, Saturday, Sept. 3

Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.

TV Channel: ACC Network

Virginia Tech Hokies 2016 football schedule:

Game 1 on Sat., Sept. 3: vs. Liberty, 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network

Game 2 on Sat., Sept. 10: Battle at Bristol vs. Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway, 8 p.m. on ABC

Game 3 on Sat., Sept. 17: vs. Boston College, 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU

Game 4 on Sat., Sept. 24: vs. East Carolina, time TBA

Game 5 on Sat., Oct. 8: at North Carolina, time TBA

Game 6 on Sat., Oct. 15: at Syracuse, time TBA

Game 7 on Thu., Oct. 20: vs. Miami, 7 p.m. on ESPN

Game 8 on Thu., Oct. 27: at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. on ESPN

Game 9 on Sat., Nov. 5: at Duke, time TBA

Game 10 on Sat., Nov. 12: vs. Georgia Tech, time TBA

Game 11 on Sat., Nov. 19: at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. on NBC

Game 12 on Sat., Nov. 26: vs. Virginia, time TBA

RELATED: JUCO TRANSFER NAMED HOKIES' STARTING QB FOR OPENER

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

In his first game with the Virginia Tech Hokies, Jerod Evans will be leading the team as the starting quarterback, head coach Justin Fuente announced on Thursday. The quarterback competition started as a two-man race between Evans and fifth-year senior Brenden Motley before a late surge by true freshman Josh Jackson turned it into a three-way battle. In the end, however, the decision was no surprise.

Evans, a junior transfer, began his college career at Air Force in 2013. He transferred to Trinity Valley Community College where he developed into a dynamic talent. In 2015, Evans threw for 395.5 yards per game and 38 touchdowns in just eight games before a wrist injury ended his season.

RELATED: HOKIES REVEAL UNIFORMS FOR BATTLE AT BRISTOL

Rated as the No. 1 dual-threat JUCO quarterback in the country, Evans was recruited by Fuente while he was still at Memphis and chose to follow the head coach to Blacksburg.

New coaches are rarely afforded the opportunity of starting their own recruit in their first season at a new school. Given that and the high potential of Evans as a playmaker, it was ultimately no surprise to hear Fuente peg him as the starter.

The announcement came with one caveat, however. Evans was named the starter specifically for the opener against Liberty, but not beyond that. Granted, Evans would have to play pretty poorly to force Fuente into switching starters the week before the Battle at Bristol against Tennessee, but an opener against an FCS team should allow for Fuente to play multiple quarterbacks. If Motley outplays Evans, perhaps it could reignite the quarterback battle.

Even so, Thursday's announcement shows the starting job is now Evans to lose.

MORE VIRGINIA TECH: Virginia Tech themed race car revealed

Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

When Virginia opens the season on Sept. 3 against Richmond, they will have a new quarterback starting under center. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall named junior transfer Kurt Benkert the starting quarterback on Wednesday morning over seniors Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, according to multiple reports.

Benkert was expected to start for ECU just last season, but a knee injury in preseason forced him to miss the entire year. He is considered the most mobile of the three, which given Mendenhall's history with dual-threat quarterbacks, likely was a major factor in the head coach's decision.

RELATED: HOKIES REVEAL UNIFORMS FOR BATTLE AT BRISTOL

As a junior, Benkert was the only candidate with two years of eligibility remaining, a prospect hat reportedly "intrigued" Mendenhall. If Benkert is able to hold on to the position and start next season as well, it would represent a measure of stability Virginia has not known for quite some time.

What likely helped Benkert was the fact that his head coach at ECU, Ruffin McNeill, is now an assistant as UVa. By coming into a school with an offensive system Benkert was familiar with, it eliminated the learning curve most transfers go through with their new teams.

Benkert will replace Johns who was the team's starter last season and co-starter the season before. The fact that the competition was a three-man race at this point in the summer despite Johns' experience was a clear indication that his ability to win back the starting job was in clear jeopardy.

In addition, Mendenhall also announced Johns and Brewer were still competing for the backup role.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: What is the ceiling for Maryland football in 2016?