FSU and Clemson to leave ACC despite conference's 14.5% revenue increase

Florida State v Clemson
Florida State v Clemson / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

The ACC saw record growth during the 2023 season; a 14.5% revenue increase, to be exact. And yet, FSU and Clemson won't be stopping their legal pursuits of the conference as they try to maximize their earning potential in the future.

"The ACC generated a record $706.6 million in gross revenue in 2022-23, distributing an average of $44.8 million to its 14 football-playing members," ESPN's Andrea Adelson prefaced before saying, "That number is a 14.5% increase over the previous year and the second-largest year-over-year increase in league history. Yet despite the record growth, the ACC remains behind the Big Ten (nearly $880 million) and SEC ($852.6 million). That gap will grow larger in the coming years with new television deals for both the Big Ten and SEC bringing in more revenue.

"That looming gap is one of the biggest reasons Florida State and Clemson have filed lawsuits against the ACC as they try to navigate their long-term futures."

FSU and Clemson could prefer Big Ten payday when they leave ACC

Around these parts, and among those in the know, the thinking was that FSU and Clemson were SEC-bound due to a lack of AAU accreditation. Not to mention the culture and geographical fit with the "It Just Means More" conference.

Perhaps, though the Big Ten is a bigger threat due to the revenue cut both the Noles and Tigers could get themselves in on with major markets from the Pac-12 (USC/UCLA, Oregon, Washington) in 2024. AAU accreditation could be expedited for FSU and Clemson or the B1G could recognize that one of their major brands (Nebraska) no longer has it anyway.

The Big Ten is positioning itself as the conference to be in with the new additions, and FSU and Clemson could keep their uniquely southern-but-not-SEC brands by going B1G.