ACC falling predicted to lead to separation of SEC and Big Ten from NCAA

2023 ACC Championship - Louisville v Florida State
2023 ACC Championship - Louisville v Florida State / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

The future of the ACC, specifically the scenario of the conference not surviving, was predicted by Mike Farrell Sports' Kyle Golik to be the beginning of the end for the NCAA as a whole; leading to the Big Ten and SEC eventually breaking off from the non-profit monolith.

"What doomed the Pac-12 was not listening to the anchors of the conference," Golik prefaced before saying, "The programs that brought in the lion's share of the revenue. And now Phillips' hand has been forced because of the lawsuit. It's now or never if they're going to be able to keep programs that would command a significant amount of money on the open market.

"But the ACC isn't the only thing on the brink. If the ACC falls, it bolsters the Super 2 model which will inevitably lead to the separation of the Big Ten and SEC from the NCAA."

Schools prepared to ride it out with ACC until the NCAA falls apart

The collapse of the ACC may be slower than expected. When the Pac-12 lost USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington, the foundation of that conference collapsed immediately. Schools like Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and ASU knew the writing was on the wall and defected to the Big 12. Cal and Stanford were next to the ACC, and now the Pac-12 is a Pac-2 of Wazzu and Oregon State.

The Atlantic Coast Conference may not collapse if FSU, Clemson, and North Carolina (and possibly Virginia) get their way in court. Memphis, Tulane, Wazzu, Oregon State, UConn, and USF are all options to replace them, and while those schools are nowhere near the brand FSU, Clemson, and UNC are (in football at least) there are flagship programs that would be willing to stick around.

As 247Sports' Brad Crawford points out, Duke is one of the schools ready to go down with the sinking ship the ACC may potentially end up being.

"There's also a chance those in the second-tier, like Duke, could split ACC revenue within the conference if the league loses FSU, Clemson and UNC, as one source put it 'and stick together until the NCAA falls apart,'" Crawford prefaced before saying, "That's assuming the ACC's Grant of Rights is good through 2036 and keeps several programs from paying an exorbitant exit fee."

Where this goes is anyone's guess, but the smart money will always be on the SEC and Big Ten monopolizing the sport. And perhaps even throwing it on its head should a full-fledged separation ever occur.

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