CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will do the preseason media circuit soon and the ACC's future will be a central topic.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will do the preseason media circuit soon and the ACC's future will be a central topic.

Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make


by - Senior Writer -

A decade ago, the message boards and social media were awash with rumors about possible Big 12 expansion, and Clemson was one of the schools rumored to be changing conferences. That never felt like a real possibility, even though it was fun to talk about. However, as rumors swirl nationally about possible Big Ten (B1G) expansion or the SEC expanding its footprint even more, this feels real.

In other words, schools around the country are going to have to decide if they are going to be left behind or forge ahead in the brave new world awash with billion-dollar TV deals, NIL, and the transfer portal. Where will Clemson wind up? Where will the Tigers be five years from now? The SEC? The B1G? Still in an ACC that has also cast its eye on further expansion? It’s too early to tell, but a lot of people smarter than me have pointed out that there might very soon be two super conferences, and those that want to stay relevant in football had better be in one of those two.

Now, a big sticking point is the ACC Grant of Rights. In 2016, the ACC Council of Presidents unanimously agreed upon the current rights, which run through 2035-36, and stipulate that an ACC school’s media rights remain with the conference through that period regardless of membership status. Also in 2015, the ACC struck a deal with ESPN through 2035-36. That means leaving the ACC means giving up all money earned through media rights until midway through the next decade. That will be in the hundreds of millions.

However, I received a text from an agent early Thursday telling me the news that USC and UCLA were bolting the PAC-12 for the B1G. He then told me that “there’s more to come.” When I mentioned the Grant of Rights, he sent back a laughing emoji and said he had already spoken with more than one athletic director and that, “They will let that play out in the courts.”

The general consensus is that both the Big 12 and the PAC-12 are done being major conference players. It might not happen this year or next, but their decline is coming. So where does that leave the ACC? At this point, I am not sure that even adding Notre Dame would be able to help.

The league’s ADs and commissioner Jim Phillips held a conference call Friday and the message was that the ACC is still in a strong position and that the Grant of Rights will hold the league together. As another media member said, I wonder if the ADs were secretly saying all the right things but texting “under the table” to make sure they aren't the ones left behind.

One thing is already clear – the ACC is far behind the SEC and the B1G when it comes to money payouts.

During the 2021 fiscal year, the B1G generated nearly $680 million in total revenue, with each school receiving an average of $46.1 million. During the same time frame, the SEC generated $777.8 million of total revenue, with each member institution receiving an average of $54.6 million.

Each ACC school received an average of $36.1 million, a number inflated by Notre Dame joining the conference full-time for a year because of the pandemic.

Reports surfaced Friday that both UCLA and USC could each earn up to $100 million per season as part of a new B1G media rights package.

For those of us who grew up watching Jefferson Pilot and the ACC, grew up watching ACC rivalries and attending the ACC Tournament, talk of leaving is hard. It’s painful for many. But money talks, and if other schools are making three times what Clemson is making – and the Tigers are already behind some schools in the NIL market – it will be difficult to remain a player in the arms race. And you can bet that two other PAC-12 schools – Washington and Oregon – are already trying to make a move. An Oklahoma State might be looking to move ASAP, and in the ACC, it’s going to be all about Clemson, FSU, and Miami.

Someone will be the first to announce. It’s now or never, as painful as that it to some of us old-timers. What will Clemson do? What will the ACC do? I have no idea, but the ACC Football Kickoff is in under three weeks in Charlotte, and instead of talking about Miami’s supposed resurgence or Tony Elliott’s first season at Virginia, I can tell you what the hot topic will be.

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Subject (Replies: 106) Author
spacer TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
TigerNet News
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
rhpltmeg®
spacer IS THERE A CHANCE OF ACC SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING ???
ApexTiger91®
spacer Re: IS THERE A CHANCE OF ACC SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING ???
Tigergirlga
spacer Re: IS THERE A CHANCE OF ACC SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING ???
PaddlingTiger
spacer Re: IS THERE A CHANCE OF ACC SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING ???
Felix domesticus
spacer Re: IS THERE A CHANCE OF ACC SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING ???
Felix domesticus
spacer Re: IS THERE A CHANCE OF ACC SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING ???
Felix domesticus
spacer Re: IS THERE A CHANCE OF ACC SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING ???
greene®
spacer What Dabo has done is absolutely amazing
Tigerfansince1972®
spacer Re: What Dabo has done is absolutely amazing
greene®
spacer Re: What Dabo has done is absolutely amazing
ebush75
spacer How has he built the 2nd best program of the
AllOrange247365
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
rhettfla
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Stillapirate®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
carolinachef
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
greene®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Stillapirate®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
TigerzzRoar®
spacer Time to go
STERLING®
spacer Re: Time to go
Bigredofbelton
spacer Re: Time to go
junk yard tiger
spacer Re: Time to go
ggordon
spacer Re: Time to go
TexasTiger80
spacer I've always been proud to be a part of the ACC, but...
sgatiger
spacer Re: I've always been proud to be a part of the ACC, but...
TigerzzRoar®
spacer I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
ATL PAW MAN®
spacer Re: I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
boricuatiger
spacer Re: I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
wewillROCKyou
spacer Re: I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
Bareftn
spacer Re: I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
ClemTig01
spacer Re: I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
3Tigerssofar
spacer Re: I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
Bareftn
spacer Re: I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
COTIGER1®
spacer Re: I'd feel better about it if they just said, in effect,
PellsYell®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
bmc49
spacer The other option
FORESTTIGER
spacer Re: The other option
RaceCityTiger1977®
spacer Re: The other option
grrowl
spacer Re: The other option
tgre
spacer Re: The other option
carolinachef
spacer Good article David
sbrooks®
spacer Re: Good article David
junk yard tiger
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Tigerclaws2®
spacer I hate to invoke this word in all of this, but here goes...
wildblulou®
spacer Hate to invoke a different word on t, but here goes...SCOTUS
RememberTheDanny
spacer Congress has involved itself with professional sports
wildblulou®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
lhaselden
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
lhaselden
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
RaceCityTiger1977®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
colemanfan
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Bareftn
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
RememberTheDanny
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
TexasTiger80
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
TigerzzRoar®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Dollarinflation
spacer I tend to agree w you in regards to Usuc, Vandy and Rutgers
tigerbum5
spacer Re: I tend to agree w you in regards to Usuc, Vandy and Rutgers
JBTFLO
spacer Re: I tend to agree w you in regards to Usuc, Vandy and Rutgers
AlbertNR4T
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Tigerclaws2®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
smillsap1
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
tgre
spacer Time to join the SEC!***
Clemson_Orange
spacer College football is so, so sick.***
surroundedtiger
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
85tiger2012®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
JBTFLO
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
InletTiger15®
spacer I don’t know why NIL keeps getting brought up in conference and school revenue
ClemsonTigers44
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
AcousticD
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
tgre
spacer Great article David, but how can we move if we don't have an
Clemson81to85
spacer Re: Great article David, but how can we move if we don't have an
TheNatureBoyWhooo®
spacer Re: Great article David, but how can we move if we don't have an
Felix domesticus
spacer Re: Great article David, but how can we move if we don't have an
TexasTiger80
spacer Re: Great article David, but how can we move if we don't have an
JBTFLO
spacer Re: Great article David, but how can we move if we don't have an
TexasTiger80
spacer "would be in the hundreds of millions".... USC and UCLA to..
TS_Tiger
spacer For Those Pondering What Notre Dame's Doing
CreoleTiger
spacer Re: For Those Pondering What Notre Dame's Doing
Dollarinflation
spacer Re: For Those Pondering What Notre Dame's Doing
Valley Boy
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
TigerSaul
spacer The NCAA should have headed this off years ago
clemson man7®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Valley Boy
spacer Well written as usual DHood ...
SocMan2®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
tigerdent
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Summittiger
spacer NCAA Needs To Grab Control
Tiger_Fan_007
spacer Re: NCAA Needs To Grab Control
Summittiger
spacer Re: NCAA Needs To Grab Control
COTIGER1®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
T3Tiger®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
PCprincipal
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
OhWiseOne®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
Rw43
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
COTIGER1®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
JustMyOpinion
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
COTIGER1®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
COTIGER1®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
CS73
spacer I have no allegiance to the ACC.
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
3Tigerssofar
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
TexasTiger80
spacer And, why would we WANT to? All the ACC has ever done is
76er®
spacer Re: And, why would we WANT to? All the ACC has ever done is
CUALUM75
spacer If the ACC were wanting to remain a legit conference in this
V_Bled22
spacer Cincy makes you legit now? LOLOLOLOL good grief***
PioneerG
spacer Re: TNET: Conference realignment is back, and Clemson has a decision to make
CUALUM75

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