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Friday, July 12, 2024

ACC Slows Down Conference Expansion Talk, For Now

  • Southern Methodist University is now under consideration to join the ACC.
  • Cal and Stanford could expand the conference to 16 teams from coast to coast.
Jordan Hofeditz/Reporter-News/USA TODAY NETWORK

Late Wednesday evening, ACC presidents decided not to vote on adding Pac-12 members Stanford and Cal to its conference, according to multiple reports.

The conference is also exploring the opportunity to add SMU, but wants to gather more information on all three schools, along with what ESPN is willing to do when it comes to potential additional revenue before moving further along with the process.

The conference’s slow deliberation is also holding up the Mountain West’s plans to explore expansion.

SEC Wants CFP Changes

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey wants to reexamine how teams qualify for the financially lucrative, expanded College Football Playoff in the wake of conference realignment. 

This season, conferences will receive $6 million for each team making a CFP semifinal, though it’s still uncertain how much a berth in the 12-team postseason will garner next year.

The original plan was to award playoff berths to the six highest-ranked conference champions and next six highest-ranked teams. “There are elements and specifics of what was decided when we had clarity around 10 conferences that might need to be adjusted,” Sankey said on “Paul Finebaum Show” this week, likely hinting at more SEC representation in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Sankey said the SEC wasn’t actively recruiting any other schools for further expansion. 

“We have this contiguous group that has a national platform,” Sankey said. “We don’t need to be in four time zones to generate interest on the West Coast.” 

But Sankey wouldn’t rule out expansion in general if the right situation appeared. ACC schools Clemson and Florida State would easily fit into the conference’s current geographic footprint.

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