This morning, reports emerged from various sources that the Atlantic Coast Conference will add three programs after weeks of lobbying efforts from everyone involved. Lobbying from very influential people like Dr. Condoleeza Rice and former President George W. Bush appears to have succeded. The ACC will have 18 programs in the conference for now.
Per Brett McMurphy of the Action Network, the trio of Stanford, Cal, and SMU will join the conference in full for 2024
What does it mean for the Pac-12?
The Pac-12’s demise is all but cemented now that only two programs are remaining. Oregon State and Washington State are surely bound for a Group of 6 conference in short order. They could be a package deal or go their separate way. The ominous death knell was cast when SIX programs left the conference last month. American Athletic Conference Mike Aresco issued a statement denying interest in both of the remaining Pac-12 programs this morning as follows:
It certainly appears that the AAC will not be a viable path forward for both WSU and OSU going forward.
What does it mean for the ACC?
Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports has an excellent thread of the inner workings of the deal on X nee Twitter here.
Among other things, the Olympic sports would have a centralized hub in Dallas near SMU’s campus. Which would drastically reduce travel costs for everyone involved. Stanford and Cal historically provide the most Olympians for the United States. Stanford in particular, ranks among the elite programs in Director’s Cup standings annually. The ACC would have the most dominant non-revenue sports programs in-house.
Stewart Mandel of The Athletic reports on the breakdown of how Stanford and Cal will receive the media shares
For the football aspect, Dellenger writes as follows:
Under the ACC’s most recent proposal, Stanford and Cal would take a reduced TV share (~30% or roughly $8 million) and SMU was expected to take no TV share for as many as nine years. The concessions free up about $55 million to be distributed to ACC teams both evenly and through an incentive pool primarily rewarding football success.Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports
Could this revenue-sharing plan placate programs intent on leaving the ACC? Florida State and Clemson are the clear bellcows in terms of football. While the Big Ten and SEC dwarf the ACC currently and long term, additional income could help the two. SMU has a rather significant donor base to survive the lack of TV shares. Stanford and Cal are elite prestigious academic institutions with mostly academic endowments to match. Although Cal has hundreds of millions of athletic debt to service in the coming years. Florida State issued a statement welcoming the trio along with a resounding “NO” vote confirmation. FSU was part of a staunch trio of “no” votes alongside UNC and Clemson. The Grant of Rights remains in place until the 2036 season with no foreseeable changes.
As with its domineering conference mates, the ACC will have some juggling to do in order to fit the new teams into the schedule. It remains to be seen how they will do so. Expect it to be a colossal effort that goes well into the spring of 2024.
Welcome to the ACC, Stanford, Cal, and SMU!