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Who could the ACC add to make an even 16 members?

Sep 12, 2012, 11:58 AM EDT

John Swofford AP

With news that Notre Dame would be leaving the Big East and soon entering the ACC, an interesting scenario arises for the future of the latter conference.

As it stands now, the ACC is at 15 full-time members, after the additions of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. A more logical and round number would be 16, but whom could they take?

The problem is, though, that with 15 full members, there are only 14 full-member football schools (remember, Notre Dame is not a full football member, though they’re playing five games per seasons against ACC schools).

Speculation begins at the root in the Big East, namely Connecticut, who has in the past expressed interest to leave the conference. Also in that mix could be Rutgers or Louisville, both schools with solid basketball and football programs that could assimilate into the ACC.

But, adding a program like Louisville, Rutgers, or Connecticut would make 15 full-time members with football, an odd number.

So, in the ACC’s search for another full member, could it look for a school that would not compete in football, giving it 16 full-time members and 14 full-time footballs schools, plus Notre Dame as an add-in?

This brings in the possibility of schools like Georgetown or Villanova, Catholic schools from the original core of the Big East that don’t have an FBS football program.

Regardless of what ends up taking shaping, the ACC is in the driver’s seat right now. It sniped Notre Dame from the Big East and raised its exit fee to $50 million to ensure that no schools leave.

The only minor flaw in all of this? We have to begin acting like South Bend, Ind., is on the Atlantic Coast.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. brianjoates - Sep 12, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    UConn or Rutgers seems to make a good fit for the ACC and what the other schools are looking for regionally, doubt MD would be in favor of Hoyas to the ACC. There seems to be this feeling that the ACC is going to make one more big splash with a school that nobody has on its radar as of yet. And who is to say that the ACC stops at 16, maybe 20 with two 10 team divisions?

    • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      And who is to say that the ACC stops at 16, maybe 20 with two 10 team divisions?


      I sincerely doubt this. For one thing, most conferences play 18 conference games. You would have to play a minimum of 20 to make this work. Also, going to have a 6 day conference tournament, are we? I think 16 teams is where the super conferences will top out, football (which is still a ways away, but I think coming) and basketball (already worked for the Big East).

      • tomtravis76 - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        I would guess if they had a twenty team super conference, not every team would play each other and not everybody would get an invite to the conference tourney.

        If the money is right, the presidents will expand again, if they don’t somebody else will. At some point when you have enough of the top schools, why share the money with anyone when the competition is all in your conference?

  2. extremepanic - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    West Virginia could have gotten the call to join. Instead, they had to join a Midwestern conference that they had no business being in.

    Maybe they shell out a few million dollars more of state taxpayer money to bolt from another conference and join the ACC.

    • raysfan1 - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM

      West Virginia wanted in the ACC and was not invited. Don’t expect that to change.

    • frug - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:47 AM

      West Virginia applied to the ACC (and the SEC) and was turned down.

      And for the record, West Virginia’s athletic department is self sufficient, taxpayers won’t have to pay dime.

  3. thebadguyswon - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    I’ll take UConn or Georgetown.

  4. bozosforall - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    UConn doesn’t deserve to be in the ACC, football-wise.

  5. klownboy - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    It’s looking to be between UConn and Rutgers. Don’t see Louisville joining…

  6. cuse6468 - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Nuts to Notre Dame. The stench of a crappy football program is in the air.
    It should have been ALL sports. Anyway, who gives a crap about them. Much ado about nothing.

  7. pastabelly - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    The only way UConn or Rutgers gets in is if ND ever becomes a football member. That won’t be happening any time soon. You can cross Louisville off the list because of their academics. It would be UConn or Rutgers and UConn makes more sense, especially with Calhoun out of the picture.

  8. mazblast - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Non-football schools, I’d say St. John’s. Why go for a school from Philly or DC when you can get one from NYC?

    As for “The only minor flaw in all of this? We have to begin acting like South Bend, Ind., is on the Atlantic Coast”, we’ve had to pretend that South Bend, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Chicago (DePaul) are in the East for several years now. We almost had to pretend that Fort Worth, of all places, is in the East, but then TCU backed out. If you go by conference alignments, we also have to belive that Columbia, MO, is in the Southeast, and that Boulder, CO, and Salt Lake City, UT, are on the Pacific, just as we’ve had to believe for over 30 years that Tempe and Tucson are there.

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