The ACC is currently in damage-control mode after the University of Maryland elected to take its talents to the Big Ten. That leaves the conference with 13 teams scheduled to play during the 2013 football season, an uneven and unlikely number to stick.
As of Monday afternoon, Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com is reporting that the Atlantic Coast Conference presidents are leaning toward just replacing the Terrapins and sticking to a 14-team system. However, there is a possibility that they add up to three more, with a chance to have two eight-team divisions as early as next season.
Fowler’s sources have found that the two most likely candidates to join the ACC are the Louisville Cardinals and UConn Huskies, both schools that have strong football programs and unique strengths and weaknesses that they would bring to the conference.
Both would make a solid 14th team, but landing either is going to be much easier said than done.
There is a long process that starts with the ACC presidents, athletic directors and faculty voting on allowing another university to join the conference, followed by the red tape that an accepted school must navigate in order to free itself from current conference ties.
As of right now, both candidates would face potential exit fees and other bureaucratic issues upon declaring defection from their current conference, the Big East, and a desire to join the ACC.
The Atlantic Coast schools should be happy with just finagling one program into the fold to replace Maryland, as any more would require more time, effort and money than is reasonable or necessary.
A 14-team conference is plenty and will still be considered one of the best in the nation. The Terps haven’t been much of a contender in recent years, and adding the Huskies or especially the Cardinals would be a major upgrade in the football department.
Keep it tuned here on B/R for the latest news, information, updates, opinions and analysis on the ACC’s potential expansion.