So long Maryland, hello Louisville. Presidents from the Atlantic Coast Conference barely allowed the ink to dry Maryland's exit papers for the Big Ten when they unanimously voted to add the University of Louisville for all sports starting in 2014. Louisville is the No. 1 college basketball television market in the country and operates with an annual athletic budget that is more than $25 million greater than Maryland's last reported fiscal athletic expenditures of $57.35 million. Louisville receives only $ The Cardinals also have an improved product on the football field under coach Charlie Strong, who has a 23-14 record in two seasons before Louisville plays for a BCS bid at Rutgers on Thursday night. Maryland is 15 games under .500 in the past four seasons. Well-known basketball coach Rick Pitino and the traditional power of his team brings instant cachet to a conference that will also bring in Jim Boeheim and Syracuse next season. Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel reported Wednesday that the ACC moved quickly on its 7 a.m. conference call to add Louisville because the Big 12 and likely others were ready to add the Cardinals to their conference. The Big 12 remains at 10 schools, the only BCS conference under 12 institutions for major sports. The Big Ten expanded to 14 last week when it welcomed Maryland and Rutgers. Louisville's move is expected to trigger additional dominoes as conferences scramble toward the super-conference structure predicted when the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC set the realignment wheels in motion in 2010. The ACC could still bring in another school or two and had discussions about including Connecticut and Cincinnati.
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