Maryland ACC
Maryland needs to re-join the ACC. The Terrapins never should have left and I want the old Maryland-Duke basketball rivalry renewed. (Photo by Mitch Stringer/USA Today Sports)

Maryland Needs to Re-Join the ACC, I Need the Duke-Terps Rivalry Back

Maryland needs to re-join the ACC. While the move from basketball’s best conference – yes, I said it – to the Big Ten in 2014 made financial sense, it was a disappointing day for the fanbase and the rest of the collegiate sports landscape. The Terrapins lost their identity, in my opinion, by sacrificing the rivalries of the Atlantic Coast in order to crawl out of financial ruin. I’ve always held a certain hatred towards Maryland because of what happened on the court, but for the better part of seven years I’ve held resentment towards everything that happened off of it, mainly from the administration in College Park. Maryland needs to re-join the ACC and here’s why:

The conference realignment is already under way, just make the move now

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 announced the move towards a conference alliance earlier this week. Although the details remain unclear, one could presume that such an alliance could entail the creation of a megaconference. If that were the case, then Maryland returning to the ACC would be inevitable. However, I believe that the conferences, despite the alliance, will retain some individuality, in which case Maryland should return to the ACC.

This would take the conference to an even 16 teams, except for Notre Dame in football. The Terrapins would once again compete against the top teams along the east coast. There could be match-ups in basketball, football and lacrosse against Duke, North Carolina and Syracuse that just mean a bit more than they traditionally do.

With Clemson possibly moving away from the ACC, will football even be as significant a priority? The Tigers are where a lot of the money lies in ACC football, but if they are to leave, then once could expect that Big Ten brands like Ohio State and Michigan follow suit. College football will always be king, and that’s where the media rights will lie, but if Maryland comes back to the ACC, they can restore the conference back to its original – and best – self.

The Duke-Maryland basketball rivalry needs to return

This is the crux of my argument: I need the Duke-Maryland rivalry back in the ACC. The two powerhouses have a rather legendary beef, stemming largely from the early 2000s college basketball match-ups. In 2001, they played each other four times, once in College Park, once in Durham, another time in the ACC tournament semifinals and then one final time in an epic Final Four game. Duke won three of those games en route to a national title, but that’s neither here nor there.

College basketball needs as many marquee games they can get during conference play, and the more rivalries the better. Duke and Maryland had a very good thing going. The Blue Devils are hated by everyone, but there’s another level of edge in College Park. I remember days being ruined by the Terrapins beating my Dukies the prior night. One time when I was in elementary school I was bowling with my family and friends and caught the second half of the Blue Devils-Terps game in College Park and the Terps won a nail biter. Needless to say my night was ruined.

With Coach K retiring, this rivalry is just the thing Duke basketball needs at the start of a new era. Please rekindle the rivalry.

I want to be able to chirp at Karl over something

This has more to do with Vendetta than anything else, but I want to have “beef” with Karl over something. If you’ve read Karl’s work or gotten to know him, you know he’s a class writer and a pretty great person. He and I are both fairly mild-mannered, but give us two games a year to trash back-and-forth and I’m all in. I’m fairly certain he’s a Maryland fan – if he’s not, this section is for nothing – and I’m a Duke fan. It just makes sense. We’ve got Yankees-Red Sox fan rivalries here. We also have impassioned Jordan and LeBron fans, a Tottenham-Luton Town beef, and I’m sure some NHL rivalries that are way out of my league. We need a college basketball rivalry and if Maryland re-joins the ACC, I feel like Karl and I can deliver on a bit of chirping.

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