ACC Expansion: Conference Must Try to Lure Louisville Before Bringing in UConn

Jon ReidCorrespondent IINovember 27, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 24:  Will Stein #4 of the Louisville Cardinals runs with the ball during the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

College conference realignment.

Never before has it been so popular.

From Texas A&M and Missouri heading to the SEC to West Virginia packing up for the Big 12, schools seem to be switching conferences like it's in vogue.

Let us not forget that Syracuse and Pittsburgh are set to join the ACC next season and the Big East welcomes all sorts of new programs like Temple (this year), as well as Memphis, Houston, Boise State and San Diego State, among others between the two major college sports.

Most recently, we heard that Maryland would be departing the ACC for the new Big Ten (or B1G) conference, leaving the ACC with just 13 teams.

Now talk has begun as to who the ACC will try woo in order to fill that vacancy.

According to Jeremy Fowler of cbssports.com, the current frontrunners to fill the void left by the departing Terrapins are the University of Connecticut Huskies and the University of Louisville Cardinals.

While Fowler mentions that academics will certainly factor into this decision, giving UConn an edge, the ACC would be wise to look past the academic differences and extend an invitation to Louisville.

With the addition of basketball powerhouses Pittsburgh and Syracuse next season, either one of Louisville or UConn would add even more depth and prestige to an already loaded conference.

It's the football side of the conference that the ACC needs to worry about, though.

With Miami struggling to regain their past glory, Virginia Tech starting to drop off and only having two really prominent teams in Clemson and Florida State, the ACC really needs to be concerned with their standing among the BCS conferences in terms of football.

Adding an up-and-coming Louisville program would go a long way to re-establishing themselves as a respectable football conference.

UConn would just add to the conference's one-dimensional look, seeing as Syracuse, Connecticut and Pittsburgh are all weaker football programs.

The choice should be easy for the ACC. Adding Louisville would be a win-win situation, while bringing in Connecticut doesn't really present a major advantage.

In a battle of academics vs. football, as is the case here, the ACC almost needs to choose football at this point in time.