Georgia Tech, Virginia to Big Ten rumors yielding few actual reports

Scott Cunningham

There's nothing out there on Georgia Tech or Virginia and the Big Ten that we consider unimpeachable. But if you'd like to know where the latest rumors are coming from, here you go.

There are rumors that Georgia Tech and Virginia could join the Big Ten. There have been Big Ten rumors about those two schools for literally years now, but they've been showing up much more frequently this week.

If you're interested in walking through the message boardiness and deleted tweetiness and anonymous sourcing business, Land-Grant Holy Land has a good and skeptical summary of that stuff. As far as actual reporting, the most definitive we've seen is one claiming the Jackets want in, not that they're going to get in. Georgia Tech has sternly denied the whole thing, as has Virginia, but we've seen that in realignment official denials mean about as much as any of the rest of this does.

But Friday night, there was this, from Kevin Jones of Gannett's Washington D.C. TV property:

That it was not deleted (he repeatedly backed it up when challenged by known ACC insiders) and is attached to a human with a name and has very specific stipulations ("will announce," not "are maybe sort of considering a potential offer") and has a very specific deadline means it's at least worth scrutiny.

You can see why this is a hot topic. The Big Ten's last expansion moves signaled a clear, TV-focused strategy centered around big schools in big cities, whether those cities actually like college football or not. With Atlanta being the biggest Big Ten-less college football market anywhere near Big Ten country (I'd argue on the entire map, but that's just me) and both Tech and UVa boasting Big Ten-grade academic branding, it's not a ridiculous scenario. Plus there are tons of Big Ten alumni in metro Atlanta anyway.

It's not the scenario that deserves scorn, just the half-reports about possible interest and potential offers and whatnot.

Actually, the only thing I've seen during the entire course of this rumor that made me wonder whether there might be something to it is this:

I don't know if O'Leary and Tech's Paul Johnson are best buddies or anything, but I recall a report that Johnson recommended offensive lineman Phil Smith transfer to UCF in part because of his ties to O'Leary. That's not much to go on at all.

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