Syracuse Orange: FSU among ACC members against expansion – shocker

Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Media reports are stating that four Atlantic Coast Conference schools oppose the league adding Pac-12 Conference members California and Stanford, and the Syracuse Orange is not one of them.

As first reported by Pat Forde and Richard Johnson of Sports Illustrated, those four ACC members not in favor of adding Cal and Stanford are Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina and N.C. State.

Forde and Johnson noted, as have other national writers, that 12 of the ACC’s 15 members must support the move for Cal and Stanford to come on board.

At present, it appears that just 11 ACC teams are in favor of this particular expansion possibility, including Notre Dame, which to me is somewhat hypocritical, because the Fighting Irish isn’t a full-time ACC member, being an independent in football, yet Notre Dame is pushing for the conference to add Cal and Stanford as full-time members.

The Syracuse Orange appears to be supportive of the ACC expanding out west.

Beyond Cal and Stanford, which are looking to move away from the decimated Pac-12, the ACC has held exploratory discussions regarding American Athletic Conference member SMU, with reports stating this school, located in the large media market of Dallas, is open to forgoing ACC revenue for several years if it were to join.

I’ve said more than once lately that the ACC is in a tough spot. The Big Ten Conference and the Southeastern Conference are the heavyweights in collegiate athletics, particularly in football. The Big 12 Conference has gotten bigger (if not better), and the Pac-12 is toast.

The ACC is attempting to ward off the Big 12 to be the No. 3 power conference in the country. The ACC’s grant of rights deal, which lasts until 2036, makes it difficult for league members to bolt, without having to engage in lengthy legal battles and pay enormous sums of money to exit.

Recently, a variety of reports have quoted leaders of Florida State as being unhappy with the ACC’s revenue distribution model, and there is speculation that FSU may try to leave the conference.

Given that the Seminoles are dissatisfied with the ACC’s revenue distribution, it’s no surprise that FSU doesn’t want to see this conference further grow. Additionally, given that the speculation out there is that FSU and Clemson are likely among the first ACC teams that would try and depart the league, it’s also no surprise that the Tigers are one of the four schools not in favor of adding Cal and Stanford.

My frustration here is two-fold. Number one, while Clemson has won national titles in recent years and made the College Football Playoff on multiple occasions, Florida State hasn’t been all that stellar in football of late.

Yes, the Seminoles historically are a powerhouse football brand, and FSU did capture a national championship a decade ago. Yes, Florida State was good in the 2022 season, and it is a preseason top-10 squad ahead of the 2023 campaign.

At the same time, over the last five to six terms, save for 2022, the Seminoles haven’t been good, with numerous seasons under .500. So for FSU leaders to have this air of elitism as it pertains to the ACC, revenue distribution and football, to me, is obnoxious and nonsense.

What’s more, as it relates to Florida State, Clemson or any other ACC member that may try to get out the league’s grant of rights deal before it expires in 13 years, what if those schools aren’t able to do so?

By extension, while I’m sure the Big Ten or the SEC would find Clemson attractive, due to its recent stellar success in football, is there any guarantee that another power conference would want to bring in Florida State or other ACC members?

With all that uncertainty, and if the ACC is able to hold things together for the foreseeable future, might adding Cal, Stanford, SMU or others perhaps provide the ACC with more stability moving forward, and enable the league to be third among the power conferences, rather than fourth?

Bigger isn’t always better in life. But the Big Ten, the SEC and the Big 12 have all added members. The ACC should, too. SMU would provide Dallas, and Stanford would bring the San Francisco market. Stanford and Cal are also among the leading academic institutions nationwide, and the Cardinal is excellent year after year in numerous Olympic sports.

And if Notre Dame would pony up and become a full-time member of the ACC, that could provide some anxiety relief for the Syracuse Orange and other ACC schools.

Forde and Johnson’s report characterized “ACC members Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Louisville as among the most vocal in advocating for the Cardinal and Golden Bears to join the league.”

So the Syracuse Orange doesn’t appear to be among the most vocal of this ACC expansion. But the Syracuse Orange isn’t opposed to said expansion, either. That’s good to know. I’m not sitting here and saying the ‘Cuse is some heavyweight in football, and men’s basketball has been down in recent years.

But at least the Syracuse Orange isn’t acting like an arrogant, short-sighted or hypocritical ACC member, at least as far as I can surmise. I can’t say the same for others among the league’s 15 schools.

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