Sunday, September 24

SMU, Cal, and Stanford are all being considered for expansion by the ACC.

The ACC’s discussion on expansion extends beyond just Stanford and Cal.

Yahoo Sports has disclosed that SMU is being considered as a potential third school.

During a meeting of league presidents on Tuesday, executives discussed the options of adding all three universities or only inviting the two members of the Pac-12. Administrators are likely to review financial models for both scenarios, either adding three or adding just two.

SMU, a small, private school located in Dallas and within the state’s top football schools, has been in talks with multiple leagues for more than ten years as part of its efforts to join prestigious power league programs.

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The university’s ability to attract a significant number of donors and aspiring to the Power Four level means that it is willing to forego conference distribution over the first five years of participating in the ACC. SMU officials held comparable discussions with Pac-12 administrators.

The financials are the most crucial aspect of potential ACC expansion. Acc schools are restrained for another 13 years by a binding agreement with an ESPN contract that pays league members only 5% of their share of Big Ten and SEC TV cash. The ACS reported distributing $39 million in money last year, with most of it coming from the TV contract.

Yahoo Sports is advised by several administrators that the league should not decrease the annual distribution given to each team to support new schools, as it is considered a non-starter.

The ESPN contract entails that the network must distribute its base to the conference in a manner that guarantees members the same annual rate as before.

Nonetheless, financial difficulties are not limited. To make up for the additional travel expenses associated with buying out Stanford, Cal, and SMU, current ACC members will need more revenue from the network, or they will have to negotiate a partial share in the league, such as 60-70%.

The ACC’s discussion on expansion is not a new concept. Over the past year, the conference considered many options but ultimately determined that none of them were suitable. Nevertheless, Colorado’S departure from the Pac-12 led to dozens of changes and once again reopened the door for expansion in the league.

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The league had considered adding five Pac-12 schools, including Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, Cal, and Stanford, before three of them joined the Big 12, according to a report by Yahoo Sports last week. However, expansion talks have persisted.

The Mountain West is in talks with its leaders about potential expansion targets, as the ACC debates the feasibility of adding the three schools.

A potential alternative is to merge with the Pac-12’s four remaining programs to maintain their identity and potentially retain certain benefits, such as autonomous legislative power and a greater portion of the money awarded by the College Football Playoff.

The discussions are ongoing, and it is unclear whether a restructured Pac-12 would maintain either A5 status or the higher CFP distribution. Yahoo Sports reported that the CFO is likely to review changes to the revenue distribution model and format in light of the recent realignment situation.

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