New Article Sheds Light On Future Of ACC

A ACC logo on the football field.

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After a wild few weeks of conference realignment in college sports, it seems like the dust may have settled for now. But, all eyes are going slowly making their way to the ACC.

Following the departure of Oregon, Washington, USC, and UCLA to the Big Ten, and Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Arizona State to the Big 12, there aren’t many big prizes left out there for realignment, and most of them reside in the ACC.

Schools like Clemson, Florida State, UNC, Virginia, and Miami seem like attractive options for both the Big Ten and SEC for future expansion. But, the big issue is the ACC media deal and grant of rights, in effect until 2036. The deal, as written, is almost a poison pill for teams trying to leave the league prior to that year. Big fines and payouts will have to be paid for teams to leave.

One school that seems desperate to leave is Florida State. Their administration expressed tepid desire to leave the league last week, and reports say the school has started to talk to financial giant JP Morgan about financial options to leave the league.

On Sunday, 247Sports released an article that shed some light on the some of the ACC teams and their futures. Most of the focus has been on those teams I mentioned previously, but the article went into detail about some of the other teams as well.

On Duke:

The Devil’s Den’s Adam Rowe told 247Sports that Duke isn’t eyeing realignment unless the ACC breaks apart. The Blue Devils intend on honoring the Grant of Rights agreement.

“Former Duke athletic director Kevin White was pivotal in negotiating the original Grant of Rights that the Atlantic Coast Conference signed and there is little appetite for the university to challenge the validity of that document in the ever-changing conference landscape,” Rowe said. “Unless the ACC completely falls apart like the Pac-12, the Blue Devils are likely to remain affiliated with their original conference.”

On Wake Forest:

“I’m confident athletic director John Currie will be able to navigate these murky waters,” Les Johns on Demon Deacon Digest told 247Sports. “Wake Forest has the fastest-growing brand in the ACC, with more than 2.7 million fans across the country self-identifying as Demon Deacons. As a founding member of the ACC, Wake Forest not only has history on its side; it also has a remarkable record of success in recent years, as evidenced by football coach Dave Clawson leading the Deacs to a program-record seven-straight bowl appearances.”

On Virgina Tech:

Would the Hokies leave the ACC for an opportunity in the Big Ten or SEC? Evan Watkins of VT Scoop says yes.

“The Virginia market will be one to watch when the ACC eventually falls apart,” Watkins said. “While it’s too early to tell if both Virginia Tech and Virginia will be tied together, both universities seem to be mentioned around both the Big Ten and the SEC. Virginia Tech’s lack of AAU currently leads me to believe they have a better chance at an SEC invite, but as a university, they fit the Big Ten with their enrollment size, research, and a President that spent time at Purdue.

“At the end of the day, I think the Virginia market is one that will be considered when the ACC eventually crumbles and Virginia Tech attracts a lot of media attention and will be considered as conferences continue to expand.”

Surely, these takes won’t age poorly. Definitely not.