As we mention a lot, conference realignment changes a lot. Sometimes you think you know something, and it can change the very next day. We get asked a lot on twitter who’s in and who’s out, and as of Tuesday at noon (CT) here’s the latest.
Florida State – If we were to pick one team that we’re most sure of it’s the Seminoles. They’ve been unhappy with the ACC for some time, and the recent TV package basically put one foot out the door. That open door leads directly to the Big 12, and it won’t be much longer before we begin to hear confirmation from the Noles administration that they’re Big 12 bound.
Clemson – Several sources in both the Big 12 and in South Carolina confirm that the Tigers are likely Big 12 bound. It’s not quite as strong as the word in Florida, but for the same reasons as FSU, Clemson wants out and is just waiting for an offer from the Big 12 that is only being held up by talks with Notre Dame.
Notre Dame – Obviousy the Big 12 (and everyone else) want the Irish, but the Big 12 can offer them something few can…their own TV deal. From everything we’re hearing today, expect the Irish to join the Big 12 in all non-football sports in the near future, and then football later. However, they very well may be playing half the teams in the conference in football, allowing them to also keep their traditional rivalries with USC, Stanford, Navy, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue until the time they would become full Big 12 members in all sports.
Louisville – It’s no secret that Cardinals AD Tom Jurich would crawl on his hands and knees to join the Big 12, but the offer hasn’t come and may not. Originally it looked like UL was in, but then when the ACC fell apart the Big 12 looked the other way. It’s not over for the Cardinals, but if the Big 12 and SEC take the ACC teams we believe they will, then Louisville will at least move up from the Big Easty.
Virginia Tech – The Hokies could either go to the SEC or Big 12, and if the SEC asks they’d go tomorrow. But they haven’t asked yet, and the Big 12 has been talking to them. Almost a certainly they’ll leave the ACC, but they’ll have options due to their football tradition and the DC market.
Georgia Tech – We continually hear from their administration that they want to stay ACC because of academic reasons, but with that conference falling apart at the seams, they’ve contacted both the Big 12 and SEC. Obviously their football is just so-so, but the Atlanta TV market is very attractive. If they want to leave to the ACC they’ll have a home.
Miami – The U wants out of the basketball oriented ACC as well. but may not have as many suitors as some of their ACC football brethren. Yes, the TV and recruiting market is execptional, but the Canes bring some recent NCAA baggage and they don’t have a great fanbase.
North Carolina State – We (and everyone else) have much less information on NC State than any other school involved in the realignment scenario, and it’s likely because they have kept very quiet. On one hand the SEC wants into markets they don’t already have, and North Carolina is a prime market. Also the Wolfpack are still considered a basketball school (they have two NCAA titles in the 70′s and 80′s) and are back into national priminence with Mark Gottfried. But other than Virginia Tech, NC State and Georgia Tech are the two mentioned for the SEC, and Tech is already in a state the SEC has a team in.
In the end I can certainly see Florida State and Clemson to the Big 12 and Virginia Tech and possibly North Carolina State to the SEC. We’ll also be watching the Notre Dame situation very closely and talking about it on the Greg Swaim Show.