Potential ACC Expansion & Conference Realignment

If Notre Dame decides to join the ACC, what University would you predict to be invited to join with them?

Is there anyone else out there who also thinks that Notre Dame feels like a better fit for the Big Ten than the ACC? (I don’t have an issue with them being in the ACC btw)

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Can we give someone tech and take 3?

I despise the fact that they are in the ACC.


Best I’ve heard all day!! I remember being so upset with them being forced on us.

Geographically, yes but there is bad blood amongst other things.

Don’t be surprised if Liberty isn’t a candidate.

I’m assuming you’re joking right? The ACC would never - in all of the years that precede the heat death of the universe - bring in Liberty.


I used to spend my 9th grade study hall reading about conference realignment rumors on my 1st gen iPad so I think I’m an expert on this topic. Also that feels generations ago but I guess it hasn’t even been 10 years.

The first given is that we will not get anyone from the Big Ten or the SEC. They would suffer a large financial hit leaving given the vast disparity in member payout. Honestly I think that the only even remotely possible team would be our old friends at Maryland although it would never happen for a million reasons, namely hard feelings. The only reason I mention it is that, and I don’t even know if this is still the case, for at least a while they were not getting a full share from the conference because they had just joined. I’m sure it has expired by now.

Let’s start by laying out the ground work for a team that the ACC would be looking for. First thing is that they should be east of the Mississippi. They should be in a desirable TV market that is ideally not “filled” by a current team. They need to be a good school. Despite how we like to rip on VT, FSU, and Louisville, none of those schools are necessarily terrible academic institutions. At least compared to the 1000s of colleges in this country. Although fwiw I think that Louisville is at least 100 spots below the next lowest ranked ACC school in the Forbes ranking. They also should have a respected program or too and not be poorly run/debt ridden (I, admittedly can’t speak for many other schools when it comes to this)

So let’s list out the possibilities:
Looking first at the American, there is no clear fit that really stands out. If I had to pick a few I would say maybe Cincinnati or SMU. Temple is fine but they just don’t offer enough across the board. No one would care. Maybe Tulane could add something.

People throw West Virginia out but I feel like everyone involved could have made that move 10 years ago and one of the parties must not have wanted it and those reasons probably still exist. Morgantown wouldn’t add much to the tv footprint either.

No to all other schools in VA or NC. There just wouldn’t be a point and they wouldn’t garner support. Sorry App. State, JMU, etc.

They used to talk about Texas who I could maybe see having some interest but they would almost certainly want to be with OU who wouldn’t fit and they would probably have to give up their longhorn network.

Maybe Army or Navy?

It really is quite slim pickings. The only way I see the ACC adding someone if if someone like the SEC decides that they want to add Texas and Oklahoma but don’t want so many teams so they tell Vandy to hit the road. The same goes with northwestern in the big 10.


Think that’s a good analysis. Of those not already in a power conference, Cincinnati is the one that combines a decent sports history, investment in football, good basketball, non-absurd travel distances and a somewhat new media market (although not far from Louisville). Tulane would be fascinating. Pretty far away and probably some other reasons it doesn’t make sense, but having another excuse to go to New Orleans every now and again would be fun.

Only other teams I could think of that are ranked above Louisville academically and could be options are USF, UCF and UConn. The first two don’t bring in a new TV market and there are probably other reasons the ACC wouldn’t be into them, and the latter seems to be the athletic department financial equivalent of dumpster fire (except for women’s basketball). So who knows.

I do wish we could get Maryland back. I hate them, but I miss playing them and hating them all the time.


Also, I do weirdly enjoy talking about the general topic of conference realignment. A while ago, just for fun, I worked on creating a new conference alignment that I would prefer, so now I’ll drop it here too. It assumes we somehow end up in the 16-team super conference scenario, which may or may not happen (and would require one of the big conferences to be cannibalized - I’ve chosen the Big12). It also completely ignores all the of realities that actually dictate how conference expansion and alignment occurs (e.g. maximizing presence in different TV markets). Instead I prioritized geography, rivalries and culture.

ACC: Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida, Florida St, Miami, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson, UNC, Duke, NC State, Wake Forest, Maryland, Louisville, Vanderbilt

SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi St, LSU, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Kansas, Kansas St, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Baylor, Kentucky, Tennessee

BIG: Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Iowa, Iowa St, Michigan, Michigan St, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Northwestern, Penn St, West Virginia

PAC: Washington, Washington St, Oregon, Oregon St, Cal, USC, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona St, Utah, BYU, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas Tech

Big East: Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Connecticut, Villanova, Cincinnati, Rutgers, St Johns, Xavier, Butler, Creighton, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Providence, DePaul, Marquette (would likely be a 6 team football conference)

Appalachia is the hardest to split up. Could make good arguments for different combinations of Louisville, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and West Virginia in the new ACC, SEC and BIG.

Anyway, none of this will ever happen for a hundred different reasons, but fun to think about if you could be in charge for a day.


The ACC wants no part of WVU. The WVU President said as much last time around.

BC would block UConn (and has done so in the past) since UConn sued them for leaving the BE.

FSU and Miami would block any of the Florida schools.

Tulane’s entry into the BE was the breaking point for the Catholic basketball schools that drove them to split off. I can’t remember the exact reason but I’m not sure they’re major enough and it’s also really far from the next closest school (FSU? GT?).

Cincy could work, but it feels like adding a school just to add one.


I love this topic it’s one that I’ve explored from every angle back to when conference expansion became how in the early aughts.

In the current landscape I tend to agree with the vibe of this board, I’m not sure there is an appropriate school to add. ND will never actually slot in because they don’t want to give up that NBC check and with the current situation they can have their cake and eat it too.

I know some want to get ride of VT, but I love them in the conference. I’m a big believer that rivals should be in conference and play with something at stake.

WVU and UConn would be the next logical teams, but as explained we’ve been down that road and for various reasons neither worked out.

I’d quit the ACC if they allowed Liberty in.

I agree with @4547Lambeth UC could work, but only to fill out a slot, plus as an XU alumn sUCks.

They could poach Vandy from the SEC but they bring no real value outside of baseball which is not enough to move the needle.

I think we’re kind of stuck with what we got.

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Great break down, but I’d question what does Vandy bring to the conference same with Northwestern. Good academic names but the conference is not lacking in that area, and neither school brings a pop for athletics.

Why do you feel so strongly about Liberty? I respect your opinion and was just wondering. However, Liberty will be in a major conference within 10 years. Unlimited finances, state of the art facilities, and fitting in the current ACC footprint which may become important due to travel finances of non-revs moving forward. They don’t offer a new TV market.

I grew up in Nelson Co. in the shadow of Liberty and remember when they were a small time school with limited finances and terrible facilities. I agree they are clearly building and dumping money into the school, it was Fawell Sr. always said he wanted to make it the BYU of the East Coast. I respect that. My issue is with the school, the administration. They have a history of racial injustice and biggoted policies that I don’t agree with and I don’t want to see that be part of the ACC.


I’m not familiar with their history, can you expand on these instances of racial injustice and bigoted policies?

There’s a lot of history there. Slate has a good article documenting recent incidents. Falwell Jr. has routinely stoked racial fires as he curried favor with the previous administration. There’s a lot of systemic racism surrounding the school and its administration


I grew up in Moneta near where the Falwell’s have / had a Lake home and you could also say in the shadow of LU. However, I’m not privy to the racial issues. I’m sorry and disappointed to hear that.

I never seen or experienced those things with Falwell Sr or Jonathan. However, my Father had a bad experience with Jr. Hopefully, now that he’s out things will change.

Could your reference or provide a link to the Slade article? I’m aware of Jr’s recent shenanigans.