The Big Ten expansion carousel got rolling once again today, this time claiming that invites have been officially issued to both Virginia and North Carolina of the ACC. Until proven true, it’s just another round of ACC death hoaxes, so until I see some confirmation from Frank the Tank and/or Brett McMurphy, you can count me a skeptic here.
But nonetheless, it’s obvious that expansion fever is still very much in the air and everyone – especially ACC fans – needs to be conscious of the warning signs for this catastrophic disease. With that, we’ve created this helpful guide to assist you in navigating the twists and turns of your school’s conference realignment rumors. All metrics are completely subjective, though are all based on college football expansion moves since 2004.
1. Would my school be upgrading with a move?
From 2004 through all confirmed changes for the upcoming years, 55 of 60 FBS schools that switched conferences have made a significant upgrade in membership compared to their former leagues. So if your favorite school/alma mater would find itself in better company by way of leaving its current situation (and that is that case for all schools not in the Big Ten, SEC or Pac-12), please give them two points for this round. If your school is in those leagues, subtract two.
2. Is my school a founding member of its conference?
Again going back to 2004, 13 founding members of leagues have left or are planning to leave the conferences which they founded at one point or another. Among the most notable include founding Big East member Syracuse leaving for the ACC, and founding ACC member Maryland heading to the Big Ten. But overall, being one of the founding members of a conference usually means that school also possesses an unequal amount of power (we’ll get to the larger conversation around this in a second). The scoring here is a bit more complicated, but by conference affiliation:
- Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, MAC= 0 points
- Big 12= 1 point
- ACC, MWC= 2 points
- Big East, C-USA, Sun Belt= 5 points