Although it’s not over, the drive to add Stanford and Cal to the ACC hit what ESPN calls “significant roadblocks” Wednesday.
For some reason, which we can’t discern, Notre Dame is really keen on adding both of them, but other reps are suggesting that if the Irish really want to add value, they could add their own football program. But Notre Dame has always been able to live a lucrative life as an independent, so why bother?
But the reality appears to be that the PAC-12 remnants don’t bring enough to the table, and the distance is an issue.
SMU also appears to lack support.
So the ACC is kind of stuck. There aren’t many good options available for expansion, certainly not within the conference’s current footprint.
What it might require is someone with a radically different vision. Before the PAC-12 collapsed, commissioner Jim Kliavkoff was frantically trying to cut a deal with Apple TV. It wasn’t going to be enough, but at least he was willing to look outside the box.
We’re not even sure where outside the box is anymore though and we’re not sure that Jim Phillips can see over the top. But creative thinking is what’s needed.