It was inevitable, but the day has finally come. This morning the ACC presidents reached enough votes to add Stanford, Cal and SMU to the conference. The ACC will now have a footprint out west, giving the league 18 members in basketball and 17 members in football…..for now. Here’s what it means for the conference.
1. League can maintain it’s media rights deal:
If the ACC membership had dropped below 15 members, ESPN could have renegotiated it’s media rights deal. Adding these three teams will keep the ACC at that number, even if schools leave the conference. Reportedly, SMU will not receive media rights revenue for its first seven years of membership, while Stanford and Cal will receive reduced revenue shares. The ACC had to make this move for their survival.
2. More changes are probably coming:
The three schools who were against this move were Florida State, Clemson and UNC. It wouldn’t be a surprise if all three of these schools begin to explore moving elsewhere. Florida State has been outspoken on their displeasure with the current state of the ACC and they stood pat, for now, but will probably make a move soon. It would be to the surprise of no one that Clemson will probably explore its options as well. FSU and Clemson bring in the largest ratings and viewership, as well as, generate the most revenue for football.
UNC is the team to watch. Would the Tar Heels really leave the ACC? In this current climate, nothing would be a surprise.
3. NC State was the deciding vote:
NC State was originally against the move, but changed course to be the deciding vote. It will be interesting to hear what made State change their minds. Starting next year the ACC will look drastically different and there will be more changes coming down the road.
Here’s how ACC fans, many of whom have opposed the idea from the start, reacted to the news: