There’s a lot of uneasiness among Syracuse Orange fans when it comes to conference realignment. With this news dropping fast, what will it mean for the ACC?
Colorado leaving Pac-12 to return to Big 12 in 2024, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. CU will receive full Big 12 share ($31.7M) from ESPN/Fox media deal. Buffs left because of Big 12 stability & Pac-12’s uncertainty, sources said. Announcement Thursdayhttps://t.co/IOo8LWAuTF pic.twitter.com/4Ilq91C0EO— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 26, 2023
It’s clear that this move will mean another school(s?) will be added to the Big 12 to get them to 14 or 16. Will it be the rumored Utah/Arizona/Arizona State trio? Is Brett Yormark going to try and establish a footprint in the NYC market by adding UConn?
To me, Colorado making a solo move makes it seem as though they were not working with any other PAC schools, as these are usually coordinated moves. Maybe the other schools just tried to be quieter about their plans, but it seems odd to have Colorado out front like this when most of these moves are coordinated.
I also don’t think the BIG or SEC will feel the need to respond to this by expanding now. ESPN and FOX are not going to pay those leagues enough money to justify adding anyone that they don’t have, despite what Florida State and Clemson fans might want. Both those leagues seem to be comfortable waiting for the current media landscape to settle a bit more.
UConn fans are torn about leaving the Big East, but with an athletic department bleeding money, a jump would make financial sense. This seems like it will be the direction the Big 12 heads for now as they add a major basketball brand, get some access to the NY media market, and take away a potential ACC option.
The ACC’s move should be to form a real and tangible partnership with the remaining PAC schools. While that league struggles to land a competitive media deal, the remaining schools offer value to ESPN and to what the ACC has spent the last couple of months bragging about- national championships.
I’m not suggesting the All Coast Conference play a regular conference schedule, but if you add a West Coast Division and play cross-over games each year, a football championship game, and two big conference basketball tournaments there is tv value there. ACC leadership can hope Florida State and Miami football are going to be back in the top 10 to make the ACC title game mean something for once, or they can send their best out to Vegas to face Oregon/Washington in a prime-time game.
We don’t know where things will shake out and it’s possible conferences will shrink again rather than grow, but for a short-term solution that could help both leagues, the ACC and PAC should consider an alliance that actually is more than just a press release.