Duke can stick with the ACC until the NCAA falls apart entirely

Wake Forest v Duke
Wake Forest v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages

Duke could be ready to stick with the ACC until the wheels fall off -- in this case, the NCAA collapsing as an organization entirely and each conference going their separate ways or creating a separate league -- according to 247Sports' Brad Crawford.

"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."

The ACC's Grant of Rights lasting through 2036 is a laughable thought at this point given the rate of realignment we've seen over the last four years alone. FSU, Clemson, and North Carolina -- and potentially Virginia soon also -- are driving a stake through the heart of the conference as we speak, and whatever is left will not be the kind of Power conference ESPN thought it was investing.

To boot, as The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach reported in December, ESPN can choose not to pick up the conference's television contract in 2027.

"This is new information," Auerbach prefaced before saying, "Per FSU, ESPN is not guaranteed to pay ACC members revenue past 2027, but the ACC schools are locked into a grant of rights that runs through 2036."

Duke basketball will position Blue Devils for 'soft landing spot' if ACC falls apart

Per Devils Den's Adam Rowe, it will be Duke's basketball program that will position the Blue Devils for a "soft landing spot" in the event the ACC falls.

"Duke's basketball program is one of the biggest earned media generators in all of college athletics, consistently ranking high among the most watched games in the sport," Rowe said. "With the revitalization of the football program in the last two years as a viable competitor, they will be able to position themselves for a soft landing in a conference if the ACC falls apart. Which conference that is remains to be seen, and will likely depend on how the chips fall when the teams scatter from the ashes."

Anyone could've guessed that, though Duke football has been growing in recent years under Mike Elko. Whether or not that growth continues under Manny Diaz is anyone's guess; though the guess of most would probably be "no."