Conference Realignment Could Break Up the ACC
Conference realignment has been the talk of the town ever since Texas and Oklahoma announced they would be moving to the SEC in 2024. Several months after the Texas and OU news, USC and UCLA announced they would be moving to the Big 10 in 2024. College football is changing and it might leave the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) behind.
The future of the ACC is in serious jeopardy as Brett McMurphy of Action Network HQ reported that Florida State, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech are all exploring the idea of leaving the conference.
Why are "The Magnificent 7" exploring the idea of leaving? Well, it comes down to the same reason Texas, Oklahoma, USC, and UCLA left their respected conferences, T.V. deals, and money.
Unlike the SEC and Big 10's new media deals with FOX and ESPN, the ACC media deal was made a while ago. Back in 2019, the ACC signed a TV rights deal with ESPN that would last until 2036. The current ACC deal brings in $240 million annually which means each ACC school only gets $17 million a year.
Compare this to the SEC and the Big 10. The SEC's new deal with ESPN will bring in $300 million annually for ten years and $40 million a year for all 16 schools. The Big 10's new deal is a seven-year deal worth $7 billion. The deal and the money are coming from three networks, Fox, CBS, and NBC. In the new Big 10 deal, all 16 teams will be making around $80 million-$100 million a year.
"The Magnificent 7" wants a piece of the pie and will go wherever to get it. The most likely destination for most of these schools is the SEC. Even though Clemson, Florida State, and Miami are all great schools, the SEC first picks would most likely go for the Virginia Schools and the North Carolina schools.
Conferences want TV markets and by adding Clemson, Florida State, or Miami, the SEC does not gain any markets. If they added one of the Virginia schools or North Carolina schools then the SEC would grab all that state's TV markets.
Hours after the report came out, the ACC commissioner, Jim Phillips put out a statement.
The ACC is in a time crunch to meet with these schools and get an agreement on a new TV Deal. If not, then it's a very likely possibility that we might not have an ACC in the next few years.