ESPN analyst proposes SEC-ACC merger for "junior NFL and junior NBA"


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Jim Phillips has a lot to weight right now. (ACC photo)
Jim Phillips has a lot to weight right now. (ACC photo)

News of Texas and Oklahoma's seemingly done deal to leave together for the SEC has sent shockwaves through college sports.

Texas and Oklahoma informed the Big 12 Monday that they do not intend to join an extended Grant of Rights agreement to lock in their stay with the conference past 2025. If they are voted into the SEC, then the courts will play a factor in just how quick that departure comes.

ESPN's Jay Bilas says a natural next step for the SEC after those additions -- at least one that may benefit some ACC schools -- is a merger between the SEC and ACC.

"If you're in the business now, you're going to have to start thinking bigger," Bilas said. "(SEC commissioner) Greg Sankey and the SEC are certainly doing that. If I were commissioner of the ACC, one thing I'd be thinking about is approaching the SEC and saying, 'Look at all the natural rivalries we have inter-conference. Why don't think start thinking about a merger?' Because that's what the SEC is gonna become. It's gonna become a junior NFL and junior NBA. There's no reason why the ACC shouldn't jump in there and take advantage of those natural rivalries and markets.

"If I was (ACC commissioner) Jim Phillips, I'd be ringing Greg Sankey's phone and saying, 'How about a merger?'"

ACC-SEC rivalries now include Clemson-South Carolina, Florida-Florida State, Louisville-Kentucky and Georgia-Georgia Tech. Those games didn't happen on the football field last year after the SEC decided to play only league games for a pandemic protocol, but they are slated to return for the 2021 season.

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