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ACC accepts Pitt, Syracuse as new members

Well, it's official. The ACC will be adding two former Canes' Big East rivals to the conference: Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Pittsburgh-Syracuse Sunday morning the ACC announced that its council of presidents unanimously voted to accept the Panthers and Orange, a move that increases its membership to 14 and sends the Big East scrambling to replace two of its cornerstone programs.

The big questions now: When exactly will Syracuse and Pitt make the move? And is the ACC done expanding?

"We are constantly evaluating the competitive landscape to ensure the conference's viability for years to come, and this, I believe, has staying power," ACC commissioner John Swofford said on a conference call this morning.

"First of all, we are very comfortable with this 14. The only thing I would add to that is that we are not philosophically opposed to 16. But for now we are very pleased with this 14. We think it is just an excellent group."

Sunday's announcement is just another sign college athletics is likely headed toward building 12, 14, and 16-team super conferences -- with the Big 12 Conference and Big East being the two that get picked apart.

Last year, Colorado left the Big 12 for the Pac-12, Nebraska left for the Big Ten and now recently Texas A&M made its intentions known it will be joining the SEC. The board of regents at Oklahoma and Texas are supposed to be meeting Monday to discuss the possibility of the universities leaving the conference too.

It's been speculated Texas, a super power with its own TV network, could end up joining the ACC, the Pac-12 or just going independent. If Texas comes to the ACC, it could bring Texas Tech with it. There are also reports two more Big East teams -- Connecticut and Rutgers -- are also under consideration by the ACC.

While there have been reports the SEC is potentially interested in taking Florida State and Clemson from the ACC, Swofford confirmed Sunday 11 of 12 conference presidents unanimously approved raising the ACC's exit fee to $20 million (up from $12 to $14 million) for any member leaving the conference last Tuesday -- a strong move to keep ACC schools from leaving.

With Pittsburgh and Syracuse's additions Sunday, the ACC has now taken five teams from The Big East. In 2004, UM and Virginia Tech left the Big East for the ACC. A year later, Boston College followed. As for how long it will take for Pitt and Syracuse to actually start playing in the ACC, no one is really sure yet. The Big East's exit fee is $5 million and schools wanting to leave must provide a 27-month notice.

Swofford said adding Pitt and Syracuse schools allows the league to renegotiate its 12-year, $1.86 billion television contract that began this season, "and we're confident that will have a positive impact." Translation: More big TV bucks for the ACC and its schools. Also a new possibility: the ACC Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. 

So what do you think of the additions? How does this help or hurt the Canes? And what should the ACC do next? Are you pumped about returning to the Carrier Dome or Heinz Field every few years?

Personally, I'm not. I feel this is huge for basketball and not as big a deal in football. Pittsburgh has nine national championships in football, but the last came in 1976. The Panthers have won just two Big East titles (2004, 2010) and have played in a BCS bowl game just once (2004). Since it's last trip to the Orange Bowl in 1998, Syracuse has had six losing seasons and been to just four bowl games.

Now, if the ACC can add Texas to the fold, it makes this an entirely different story -- and potentially makes the ACC the most powerful conference in college sports. But I don't see that happening. 

Comments

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If Wannstache isn't involved I'm not interested.

UConn and Rutgers should be added, but what about TCU since they just joined the Big East? If Clemson, VT or FSU goes to the SEC, let's add the Horned Frogs as well to the ACC.

Nice win for the Canes. Too bad we don't have a QB,because we'd have a good team that could really have a chance for a decent bowl or maybe the ACC Championship game. With Harris and Morris, we are going to struggle against any good team.

I may be wrong, but I don't think FSU wants to have to compete in the SEC in football. It will be tougher to reach the nat'l championship game. I guess they could be swayed by more money, but we shall see. I don't think Clemson will leave either. Syracuse and Pit will make the ACC the dominant basketball conference.

The Longhorn Network has been the downfall of the Big 12. To bring a single school that wants to stockpile that much power and revenue will be a problem for any conference.

Miami has a "HUGE" ALUMNI base in the N.E. !!

This is good for ticket sale/donations and Nov. vacations to South Florida to see games !!

Also Syracuse,Pitt,B.C. is a much shorter drive too,for Alumni living in the N.EAST
then it is to Clemson,WAke Forest etc.

FSU is not leaving the ACC. This latest move gives them assurance of the stability if the conference. In addition, the ACC is much better academically than the SEC. Finally, Florida will get together with South Carolina and Georgia to block FSU, Clemson, and Georgia Tech from joining even if they wanted too. VA Tech is going anywhere either. Not to mention that all of the current presidents voted to increase the exit fees. Why would anyone increase their exit fees if they were thinking of leaving. West Virginia will likely join the SEC.

The best part about this is Miami can beat Pitt every year and piss off Mark May.

For basketball it's HUGE! Hopefully they'll be smart and have the ACC tournament in MSG. Great market, historic venue and great for recruiting. In regards to football...ehh. But if you think they're stopping at 14, then I have a bridge in Alaska I want to sell you. IMO, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but IMO the ACC will grow to 20 teams with 4 divisions. At the very least they have to somehow include WVU & TCU. Omitting those two doesn't make sense at all.

I like the ACC expansion only if we can add Texas and either TCU or Texas Tech. We must add another strong team because Pitt and Syracuse give you nothing from a football perspective. If UT and TCU or TTU goes to PAC-12 then we go after WVU and Lville.

The SEC will add Mizzou and either cap it at 14 or add KU and KSU for 16 teams.

If Texas joins, do they go to Atlantic or Coastal division? Gotta be Atlantic as we're already stacked with UNC, GT, and VT.

I wish FSU had won last night as it would have been big for the conference to go 3-0 in major TV games yesterday. But their loss should give the Canes more airtime and national recognition.

Giving up only 1 TD in 8 quarters is bigtime D. I like Morris' strong arm and I'm sure the coaches do too. So why continue with J12? It must be a command and control issue with SM17. Maybe something we don't know. But from what I see on the field SM17 has everything we need!

Go CANES!

WVU and Texas Tech aren't strong enough academically. UConn and Rutgers make sense. TCU isn't in the eastern time zone, the ACC is sticking to EST.

If FSU or Clemson leaves, expect USF or UCF to join, although neither are academic powerhouses either...

Noone is looking at this because everyone thinks the Big 10 is airtight and noone would think of leaving it, but the addition of Syracuse and Pitt, to me, is a clear move that the ACC wants Penn State. Penn State has never liked being in the big 10, and in fact they have long believed there's a consipiracy by the refs against them. Their biggest rival is Pitt. They recruit viginia, jersey, maryland and pennsylvania. Joe Paterno originally wanted to join the big east but it was a weak conference so they joined the only other viable one in the region. But now a powerful conferece is very strong in the NE, and I think you'll see Penn State eyeing membership. They have to be tired of losing recruites to va tech, maryland and rutgers because they have to convince those kids to come and make trips to the midwest. Also, for all their non-revenue sports, every conferece game will be a 3 hour drive for them.

Everything thinks the big 10 is too wealthy, but the acc now has every major television market on the east coast save Philly. They're the power in basketball again with these additions. Add Penn State and the money will flow greater than the big 10. Mark my words on that.

I love this expansion. I loved these rivalries, and I'm not short sited enough to think that just because pitt and cuse are struggling now means they will forever. You take great programs, not the ones that are winning now, and we struck gold here. Add uconn for basketball and penn state for football and we're a juggernaut.

Go ACC and go Canes!

While I would LOVE to land PSU I think that idea is a bit far fetched. But if I'm wrong, even if there are rumors of Penn State wanting to leave, I'll come back here and say, "ChicagoCane is the man!"

IMO the writing is on the wall for the Big East. Eventually they'll no longer be a football conference.

WOW- the ACC already a weak conference adds two more weak teams in Syracuse and Pitt- now UConn wants in. Why do the fans have no say in anything?

Go Canes!!!!!

would love Penn State to join the ACC

this is a great addition. you take great programs. regardless of how bad their leadership is at the moment.

Penn State and Notre Dame would be a good round out for a Northern Division.

I hate the additionof Syracuse in the ACC. i can not for the life of think of why some one would accept them. The ACC should have went fullthrottle after Penn State. Syracuse is a looser in all athletics andlets face football and basketball bring money to the conf. I personally think Miami needs to go to the SEC as well. I dont mind Pitt. But a Penn state and WVU would have been a great add.

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