If you though that realignment talk would go away once football season finally got underway, you were unfortunately wrong. The ACC met this morning and officially voted to add 3 more teams—Stanford, Cal, and SMU—to the conference starting next season.
Sources: ACC Presidents and Chancellors have voted this morning to extend invitations to Stanford, California and SMU to push the league to 18 teams.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 1, 2023
I get why the ACC felt they needed to make this move in order to avoid the league completely disappearing like the Pac-12, but I’m not really a huge fan of this—then again, I also kind of hated the last version of ACC expansion, so maybe I’ve just become an old man yelling at clouds. In my opinion, these additions do basically nothing to address the revenue gap between the ACC and the B1G/SEC that the power players like Clemson and FSU are complaining about, so it isn’t going to stop them from bailing as soon as they possibly can. The added TV money is nice, but it's only going to be around $4mil per school, and I’d guess a large chunk of that is going to be eaten up flying nonrevenue sports to the west coast. The lack of benefits would be an easier sell if Stanford, Cal, or SMU, added any exceptional value in football or basketball, but I really don’t think they do.
This will obviously impact Wake’s scheduling in probably every sport starting next season. The new ACC football schedule, which just started this season, is pretty much completely obsolete at this point, so I expect that our annual “rivalries” with Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech will be ending after we play this season. Expansion probably means an end to the “annual partners” style of schedule anyways, because who is going to want to get paired up with Cal or Stanford? In basketball, with a 20-game conference schedule and 17 other ACC teams, Wake will only be able to play 3 teams more than once every season—hopefully the conference can figure out some way to make those 3 NC State, UNC, and Duke. I’m sure the scheduling won’t be easy, so I’m interested to see what the ACC has in store for next season.
Hopefully this will be the last we hear about realignment until the offseason next summer, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts on expansion? Do you like the additions?