“From the great Atlantic ocean to the wide Pacific shore.” That is the opening line to the legendary country song, “Wabash Cannonball” talking about a train, it can now be used to describe Atlantic Coast Conference football after the ACC expansion.
In a meeting Friday morning, the ACC member presidents voted 12-3 in favor of adding Cal, SMU and Stanford to the league, as reported by Pete Thamel of ESPN.
The latest round of ACC expansion, brings the conference to 18 members, matching the Big Ten as the biggest Division I conference.
It had been a long process to get the three schools in the conference. Three weeks ago, the first round of voting took place with only eleven presidents in favor of the addition, but a flip, likely by NC Stateʻs Randy Woodson, on Friday made the difference.
The three schools that chose not to invite the newcomers were Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina. All of them have been in talks of leaving the ACC eventually.
Cal, SMU and Stanford will be eligible to compete in the fall of 2024. As for the most important factor, broadcast revenue, Cal and Stanford will receive 30% of the conferenceʻs payouts, while SMU will spend nine years in the league without receiving a penny, the cost to get them into a Power conference.
SMUʻs departure from the American Athletic Conference leaves the AAC with 14 member schools, 13 of which play football.
Oregon State and Washington State are now all that is left of the Pac-12, a conference hunted to extinction by the latest round of ACC expansion.
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