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ACC Expansion: About To Happen?

The All-Coast Conference may be about to debut

NCAA Football: Duke at Syracuse
 Oct 10, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; General view of a football on top of an end zone marker with the Atlantic Coast Conference logo displayed prior to the game against the Duke Blue Devils and the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

There is a lot of uncertainty around ACC expansion, but it looks like adding Stanford, Cal and SMU is still a possibility.

We’ve seen various things tonight and some of what we’re about to relay could be inaccurate, outdated or just wrong. There are a lot of moving parts. But here’s what we’ve seen.

  • Stanford and Cal are willing to come in with less revenue for some time but at least one tweet suggested that SMU would take no revenue for a period of time.
  • Expansion, if it happens, may be limited to football and men’s and women’s basketball. It would be unfortunate for the Olympic sports, but we can’t imagine anyone making the numbers work. Sending the Stanford soccer teams to Miami, for instance, would be quite expensive.
  • There are a couple of tweets suggesting that ACC Presidents met Thursday night/Friday morning and are again discussing adding the three new schools.
  • The ACC’s increased revenue would be about $72 million.

On a different note, the PAC-12 has always organized road trips by having the LA schools or the Arizona schools visit the Oregon or Washington schools at the same time (or maybe it’s Oregon/Washington and Washington State/Oregon State but the same logic applies).

Stanford and Cal could do something similar. Football is obviously not an issue here, but for basketball, or if any other sports are involved, the Bay Area schools could swing through the Triangle, or Florida State and Miami. You could do similar trips with Clemson and Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Virginia and Syracuse, Pitt and Boston College and probably with Notre Dame and Louisville as well.

This could all still fall apart or it could move even faster. It’s such a strange situation.

Oh, one last thing: remember UNC’s Anson Dorrance saying that the ACC should just let Stanford and Cal “die on the vine?”

His follow-up statement said that “I have the utmost respect for Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. They are outstanding institutions with dedicated leaders, committed students and world-class soccer programs and coaches. I don’t think conference expansion is in the best interest of Carolina and the ACC at this time, and I trust and respect the decisions that Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham and ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips are making on behalf of Carolina and the ACC.”

If it turns out that Olympic sports are not part of the expansion, his statement could be read in a different light.