Conference realignment appears to be at a standstill — for now, at least. No school has the immediate green light to make a move and cause further disruption.
Tuesday marks the deadline for ACC schools to notify the conference of a 2024 departure. Any moves were highly unlikely, as each would trigger an exit fee of about $120 million. Texas and Oklahoma paid a combined $100 million to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, while USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington will not pay exit fees to join the Big Ten because of the Pac-12’s expiring media rights deal.
Florida State has expressed the most frustration with the ACC, but the Seminoles haven’t made any plans to vote on any formal move.
Should FSU or schools like Clemson or Miami ever leave the ACC, a likely landing spot would be the SEC — although it doesn’t seem to be in any rush to expand further.
“To me, 16 is a really good number, for a variety of reasons,” University of Georgia president Jere Morehead said, explaining that going bigger “becomes more challenging from a scheduling standpoint” and “determining true championships.”
However, Morehead added he could envision “scenarios where 18 or 20” teams made up the conference, if “carefully thought out.”
Wild Wild West
As the now four-team Pac-12 contemplates its future, Washington State president Kirk Schulz has established a 16-member athletics advisory committee to help him and WSU athletics director Pat Chun determine the school’s next steps.
Oregon State president Jayathi Murthy desperately wants to keep the conference together, but the University of California and Stanford have been exploring moves to the ACC — despite being met with opposition from top conference schools like FSU and Clemson.