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Jim Phillips: ACC Looking At Expansion

The problem is, pickings have gotten pretty thin

Pittsburgh v Xavier
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 19: The ACC logo on the floor before the second round of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament game between the Xavier Musketeers and the Pittsburgh Panthers at Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

As you probably heard, Colorado will be leaving the PAC-12 to return to the Big 12. The PAC-12 is in a tough situation with UCLA and USC already off to the Big Ten.

That leaves the PAC-12 with Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, Stanford and Cal and a media contract that always seems to be just out of reach.

Well it’s more so now.

And the PAC-12, like the ACC, is somewhat hemmed in by geography, but it’s worse out West. California is heavily populated obviously, but outside of the Golden State, there just aren’t that many major schools to poach. Gonzaga? San Diego State? Boise State? The first two are excellent basketball schools and Boise State has built an enduring football program, but all three are to an extent flawed.

According to Commissioner Jim Phillips, the ACC is also considering expansion, which is a good idea because Florida State apparently wants out. With media rights signed over to the conference for years to come, that could be tricky but we’ll see.

Unlike the PAC-12, the East Coast is densely packed, but the options are not that great. The conference has apparently looked at West Virginia, SMU, Oregon and Washington according to ESPN.

In retrospect, not taking UConn when UConn wanted in may not have been very wise.

There is a lot of stuff to sort through, but here’s an idea: why not just merge with whatever’s left of the PAC-12 and have an East Coast and West Coast division? You could call it the Coastal Conference and let the divisions keep their current names. The media rights could be impressive too.

If not, it might be time to consider Appalachian State. At least you know the football will be solid.