Big 10 and SEC Race to Add ACC Schools
18 Jan, 2013
Multiple sources within the Big 10 contend the University of Virginia is set to receive an invitation to join the conference early next week. UVA is expected to ratify the move from the ACC to the Big 10 shortly after receiving the invitation.
UVA would become the 15th member of the Big 10.
None of the Big 10 sources would divulge the identity of the Big 10’s target for #16 but they did confirm that Georgia Tech and UNC are the leading candidates.
Media contacts working close to Georgia Tech believe the Yellow Jackets are the Big 10’s choice for #16 while several sources within the Big 10 believe the conference would prefer UNC over GT.
Sources close to the SEC allege UNC is also engaged in serious discussions to join the SEC along with Duke.
The same sources indicate that the SEC is prepared to be the catalyst of the next round of conference realignment and move quickly to secure either UNC and Duke or Virginia Tech and NC State.
Sources at WVU say the Big 12 is set to discuss expansion at the end of the month and it is likely they will invite as many as 6 ACC teams after the Big 10 and SEC move.
So what does this mean?
If the Big 10 and SEC sources are correct we can assume UNC is highly prized commodity – at least a big enough prize to force the SEC to break their pattern of benign poaching and make a preemptive move on UNC before the Big 10 has a chance to snatch up the Tar Heels.
As for the Big 10 my sources tell me on paper UNC looks like a perfect fit but Georgia Tech has enormous support from both Illinois and Purdue. So much support that Delany has been forced to rethink his choice of UNC.
The Big 12 has previously agreed to add FSU and either Miami or Clemson (it’s different depending on who you talk to at WVU or in the Big 12). My sources at WVU explain that Miami is the more valuable choice due to its larger television market and fertile recruiting grounds but they are quick to explain Clemson is a close second.
What’s clear is that the Big 12 will have the opportunity to add 6 quality schools that will drastically improve their footprint and increase their available television inventory.
If the Big 12 is lucky and the Big 10 and SEC hit 16 and hold the conference could see FSU, Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech and NC State as members.
The folks at WVU are giddy at the prospect of being in the same division as old friends FSU, Clemson, Miami and our best “frenemy” Virginia Tech.
The worst scenario for the Big 12 is still an improvement. At the very least Bowlsby will decide to add FSU, Miami and Clemson and he’ll have some options to round out the conference at either 14 or 16 with Louisville, Cincinnati, Pitt, BYU or even UCONN.
Why would ACC schools move before the UMD lawsuit with the ACC is settled? A mass defection of 10 schools would kill the ACC as a viable conference and their may be no one left to pay the exit fee to after realignment is finished.
The other popular opinion is that it won’t matter. They know UMD will pay far less than the $52 million and they’re willing to move on to greener pastures confident that the ACC’s share of playoff money and eventually even the ACC’s TV money will be redistributed to the remaining big 4 and more than make up for whatever exit fee they may be forced to pay.
Keep in mind I don’t have direct knowledge of the discussion. I rely on friends at WVU and contacts within the ACC, Big 10 and SEC for this information and it can change quickly. LINK
This post was edited on 1/19 at 6:03 pm