FSU and Clemson leaving conference can lead to relegation for some ACC schools: Analyst

Clemson v NC State
Clemson v NC State / Lance King/GettyImages

HERO Sports' Colton Pool believes that FSU and Clemson leaving the ACC after settling their lawsuits aimed at getting both out of the conference's Grant of Rights agreement could lead to several schools being left behind by the Power Five and having them scramble to find a new Group of Five home.

"(FSU and Clemson) could come up with the financial means to separate from the ACC, or perhaps all parties involved come to an amicable solution which means those two programs can seek a new conference," Pool prefaced before saying, "But if that did happen, the ACC would be losing arguably its two most valuable members when it comes to college football. And like what happened with the Pac-12, some big-name schools leaving could lead to several others wanting out as well.

"For the sake of the Group of Five, if the ACC were to completely dissolve, it’s not impossible some programs are left behind by the power leagues. Perhaps the AAC or the Sun Belt figure out an arrangement with leftover ACC teams."

Where would ACC schools go if FSU and Clemson leave the conference?

If the ACC were to cease to exist as a conference -- which may not be the case if its contingency plan of adding Memphis, Tulane, USF, UConn, Oregon State, and Wazzu comes to fruition -- several schools with AAU accreditation (UNC, UVA, Miami, Pitt, Duke, GA Tech) could have a home in the Big Ten.

The Big 12 is a rumored landing spot for Pitt or GA Tech as well, in addition to Louisville, NC State, and VA Tech. Wake Forest feels like it'd follow at least one of its Tobacco Road rivals somewhere.

As for the likes of Syracuse and BC, ending up in the MAC feels like a stretch. If anything, schools from the ACC left behind by the disintegration of the conference would most likely end up as independents before having seismic advantages while sharing a Group of Five conference with existing G5 programs.