Clemson Denies Rumor It Discussed Joining SEC amid Oklahoma, Texas Additions

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2021

07 October 2016: Clemson helmet on the sidelines. The Clemson Tigers defeated the Boston College Eagles 56-10 in an ACC NCAA Division 1 football game at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The college football realignment rumor mill has been abuzz this summer with Texas and Oklahoma trending toward the SEC, and one powerhouse program publicly denied its interest in the conference on Monday.

"There is no truth to the report that Clemson University has been in contact with the Southeastern Conference regarding membership," a Clemson spokesperson said, per Matt Connolly of ClemsonSports.com.

The statement came after Marc Ryan of ESPN Upstate reported that Clemson and Florida State, which are both in the ACC, "reached out to the SEC about joining the conference."

While joining the SEC would further tip the competitive balance in college football while offering the Tigers a more challenging conference slate, there are difficulties to such a potential move beyond the field.

Stewart Mandel of The Athletic pointed out Clemson is part of a grant of rights with the ACC through the 2036 campaign.

"Maybe you can sue your way out of it, but if unsuccessful, that's 15 years of TV revenue you don't get to keep," he wrote.

The idea of an SEC that already has Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn and Florida adding annual College Football Playoff contenders in Oklahoma and Clemson and traditionally strong programs in Texas and Florida State could have a domino effect in college football as other conferences look to adjust and talk of playoff expansion heats up.

For now, though, it appears as if Clemson is staying put in a conference it has recently dominated.

The Tigers have reached the last six CFPs and won two national championships in that span while reaching two more title games. It has reached the point that it is a genuine surprise if the high-profile playoff and championship contests don't feature some combination of Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State thanks to the on-field dominance of those programs.

Playing in the ACC hasn't prevented the Tigers from reaching such heights, and the school at least publicly sent a message it isn't looking to leave.