With Louisville joining the ACC this morning, conference realignment has basically become a big game of musical chairs. The Sporting News’ Matt Hayes has an article out this morning discussing the tenuous conference realignment landscape, in which he cites a source that says the SEC has been after Duke and North Carolina for “at least three years”:
The dismantling of the ACC and strengthening of the Big Four is coming. The only things that can stop it are high-priced lawyers.
“We’d be absolutely foolish to not watch Maryland,” one FSU official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Sporting News. “If or when they get out of (the $50 million buyout), everything changes. It’s almost like free agency.”
If that’s true, Maryland is the Curt Flood of college football. And it could lead to the one remaining mega move still out there: Florida State and Clemson to the Big 12.
If that happens, the two crown jewels of the ACC become available. Duke and North Carolina, which an ACC source said have been chased by the SEC for “the last three years,” will choose between the Big Ten and the SEC.
For those who don’t think this is serious, consider this: The ACC announced Tuesday it had filed suit against Maryland to force the university to pay the full $50 million exit fee. Maryland and Florida State were the only two ACC schools to vote against the league’s $50 million buyout fee.
Duke and North Carolina in the SEC?! I think my mind just exploded.