Big 12 Looking Into Alliance With ACC (Rather Than Expansion)?

Is There Any Chance a Big 12/ACC Alliance Happens?

Is There Any Chance a Big 12/ACC Alliance Happens?

Friday afternoon saw plenty of conference realignment talk after the Austin Statesman reported that the Big 12 was looking into an alliance with the ACC, and possibly two other leagues. The basics of said “alliance” would revolve around basketball and football scheduling, plus bowl partnerships and (most importantly) television negotiations.

It goes without saying just how important this could potentially be for the ACC’s long-term success and survival. And according to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, this could even be a move to avoid further conference expansion:

“‘If anything, it’s the opposite,” Bowlsby said. “You can begin to get some advantages without taking on any of the disadvantages (of expansion). It’s one option that allows benefits. It’s kind of like friends with benefits.'”

There’s plenty more details and hypotheticals we could go over here — what it means, how this could potentially work, and even what this has to do with the Big Ten — however, I’ve already done so over at SB Nation’s Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. So for further information, head on over there. If there’s further movement on this front, I’ll be sure to provide updates here.

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Conference Realignment: Is Big 12 Expansion With Florida State and Clemson Imminent?

Bob Bowlsby's Said the Big 12 Could Expand. But Will They Do So at the Expanse of the ACC?

Bob Bowlsby’s Said the Big 12 Could Expand. But Will They Do So at the Expanse of the ACC?

Just when we thought things could settle down for a little while among the five power conferences and their conference expansion dreams, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby had this to say on Wednesday (via CBS Sports):

“We could be proactive [in conference alignment], I think,”

Simple phrasing that could potentially mean nothing. Or could potentially mean the next dominoes start falling on January 28 and 29 when the league meets in Dallas. Personally (and yes, I understand there’s some bias), I don’t see them adding a team from the ACC. Based on the current legal battle around Maryland‘s $50 million exit fee, the soon-to-be-renegotiated-again TV contract, conference television network talks and four incoming new members, it becomes more difficult to create a compelling case for any school to exit. Further, Bowlsby himself at least hints at an unconventional add, should they decide to expand:

“Look at Maryland and Rutgers. They don’t bring programs that are of the ilk of the others in the Big Ten. The philosophy clearly is: ‘As members of the Big Ten we can grow them.’“

There’s two ways to look at that statement. First: they’re willing to take a flyer on a developing program (Connecticut, Cincinnati?) and allow them to reach their full potential within the constructs of the Big 12. For the ACC, this is obviously the ideal situation for the time being — it keeps its best schools in the fold, which at this point, is the most important goal. But for the long-term, the league loses its top two expansion candidates, should the Big Ten pick off a few more schools (not impossible at all).

The other way you can look at this statement is the one that worries ACC supporters right now. Clemson and Florida State surely don’t need to be “developed” into major programs by joining the Big 12. But neither is necessarily the “ilk” of the current Big 12 schools either. You can make similar statements about nearly every other school in the conference, save maybe Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh (solely based on their respective rivalries with West Virginia). Additionally, it’s an unknown which schools are on the conference’s rumored “quality” expansion list. This short list, supposedly built into their television contract, is supposed to enact automatic increases in per-school payouts when schools are added. I’d assume those names include Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Miami and Notre Dame, with BYU as another possibility.

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Conference Realignment: A Clemson Fan’s Rant

Should Clemson Leave the ACC for the Big 12? One Tigers Fan is Unsure

Rumors of the imminent departure of Florida State and Clemson for the Big 12 have reached a fever pitch in the last few days, and this embarrassed Clemson fan will admit to Googling “Clemson Big 12″ every hour to check the latest message board rumors or statements by university officials taken out of context. While it seems unlikely that anything will happen until late June, when the playoff format has been decided, new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has taken office, and West Virginia and TCU get full voting rights, Tiger fans all over the country have been salivating over the chance to join the “big boys” and leave the ACC behind.

Clemson has had a love-hate relationship with the ACC since its foundation. Although the Tigers were a charter member, they’ve always felt out of place in a basketball league. By most standards, Clemson would fit better in the SEC than the ACC. But association with prestigious schools like Georgia Tech, Duke, and North Carolina is a boon to the university’s continuing quest to become a top-20 public school, the primary goal of president Jim Barker’s tenure. Continue reading