Syracuse, Pittsburgh Make Play to Join ACC: Why It's Bad for the Conference

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2011

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are reportedly interested in joining the ACC, leaving the future of the Big East in doubt.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh are reportedly interested in joining the ACC, leaving the future of the Big East in doubt.Chris McGrath/Getty Images

According to a Saturday report from ESPN's Heather Dinich, Big East Conference heavyweights Syracuse and Pittsburgh have filed applications to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The ACC has accepted three schools in the past seven years, all from the Big East (Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College).

The conference's current 12-team format would expand if Syracuse and Pittsburgh were accepted, but don't expect that to happen just yet. According to Dinich, any school preparing to leave the Big East "must pay $5 million and give 27 months notice."

If the Big East were to lose the two programs, the future of the conference would be in serious doubt, similar to that of the Big 12, which has faced significant competition from the newly realigned PAC-12 conference.

Texas A&M has shown interest in joining the SEC, which leads many to believe the Big 12 will soon be nonexistent. According to Dinich, both Baylor and Iowa State have contacted the Big East about potentially joining if the Big 12 were to fall apart.

Let's return to the future of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and the ACC. What would be the result of a 14-member Atlantic Coast Conference, a conference in which no program stands out as a premier powerhouse?

The ACC landscape would only get muddier and even more unpredictable.

Adding teams isn't the solution to the conference's problem.

Florida State is far from what it used to be, Miami is immersed in scandal and Virginia Tech has failed to live up to expectations in out of conference play.

Adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC crowds the conference similarly to the PAC-12, but with far less talent and excitement.

The SEC is by far the best conference in college football (with the PAC-12 and Big Ten nipping for second best), not because every team is great, but because the top programs in the conference have dominated the nation's best.

The ACC needs a premier addition, like West Virginia. Until the Mountaineers apply to join the ACC, the conference will continue to sputter.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh, escapees from the Big East's future uncertainties, are the big winners here, not the ACC.

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter @_Pat_Clarke


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