With the announcement of the ACC members collectively signing a “Grant of Rights” agreement – which essentially means the ACC member schools turn over their television rights to the conference – it’s widely assumed that the conference realignment game might have just ended (at least for the next decade or so).
It’s worth noting that most college football experts also assumed the ACC raising its exit fee to north of $50 million would end the realignment game as well and that didn’t stop Maryland from jumping ship. With that said, signing over television rights in theory should prevent anyone from leaving the ACC, at least in the near term.
With any potential 15th and 16th SEC members likely coming from ACC territory (such as Duke & UNC), it appears that the SEC is set to remain a 14-team league.
It’s rumored that this has been the preference all along by the leaders of the SEC as transitioning to 14 teams from the previous 12 brought a number of logistical challenges. Going from 14 to 16 would bring even more challenges. Notably, the issue of scheduling becomes increasingly complex as more teams are added.
For college football traditionalists, an end to the conference realignment game is welcomed with open arms. With the five major conferences on firm footing, work can be done to repair damaged rivalries (e.g. Texas A&M vs Texas).
What do you think? Are you happy with a 14-team SEC?