February 23, 2024
by site owner Todd Helmick (BIO)


Florida State will leave the ACC for a P2 conference (Big Ten).

Clemson, North Carolina, Miami and Virginia also leave for a P2 conference. Or at least two of them will. Clemson and North Carolina to the SEC.

Notre Dame will be a package deal with FSU for all sports including football (Big Ten).

The rest of the ACC will head to the Big 12 or a G5 conference.

Duke basketball will be a twin UConn in a basketball league such as the Big East, football will be forced to join a G5 conference or become an independent.

California and Stanford will rejoin the Pac 12 along with SMU after the ACC dissolves.

The Pac 12 remainders Oregon State and Washington State will combine with the Mountain West and a few other G5 teams to be determined and the Pac 12 will keep its name.

The Pac 12 will not be a union with the Power Conference structure.

Three Power Conferences "P3" will remain - Big Ten, SEC, Big 12.

The CFP (College Football Playoffs) will expand to 16 teams (instead of just 12) by 2025.

The Big Ten and SEC will each receive four guaranteed AQ (Automatic Qualifier) slots for the new 16 team playoff system - 8 in total.

The P2 will separate from the other conferences in football by the year 2030 and have their own playoff format and national champion.

The remaining teams will form their own football consortium and do the same.

The other sports will not be affected.

Basketball leagues will be reestablished.

PART III to be continued...
- Both the NIL and the Transfer Portal will have regulation, at least in the P3.
- Student-Athletes will continue to be paid but under contractual form, which will help regulate the Transfer Portal issues.
- Scholarships will no longer be required for NIL purposes and will become part of the contract.
- Scholarship limits will be removed, but roster totals for all sports will have limits. Football roster limits will go over the current 85 total.
- Student-Athletes will not move to "employees of the university" status.
- The NCAA, if it still exists in current form, will not govern the new P2 alliance. The P2 will be self-governing.
- Title IX will have no jurisdiction in how much student-athletes are paid, but scholarship/roster totals for men and women will remain even.


Conference realignment isn't over, bank on that much. The P2 is not finished adding teams, bank on that much. The who's, why's and where's can get somewhat sticky at this juncture. But one aspect is certain:

Florida State is leaving the ACC. That end result is a matter of when and how much it costs, not if. Despite all the legal ramblings, the Seminoles will wind up in one of P2 conferences by 2025. Once this hammer falls others will follow and the ACC will no longer exist. It's done, finished. Mostly due to poor management, poor media agreements and a commitment to Tobacco Road while ignoring the needs of others outside the state of North Carolina. The ACC recently announced the Future Neutral Site Championship locations for all sports through 2029 and they are all in Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham. So much for equality.

The ACC ship has been taking on water for quite some time. Just ask Maryland fans, who count their blessings every day for leaving in 2014 to join the Big Ten. Members of the ACC are getting $20 to $30 million less than teams in the P2 and the gap will only grow. With the current structure of college athletics there is no competing at the highest level given such a financial gap.

So many questions and potential possibilities exist once this ACC domino falls. Based on all the sports forums, talk shows big and small, YouTube Channels and X (formerly Twitter) - all of whom claim to have inside sources - these are the biggest predictions from those at the top of the insider heap:

FSU and Notre Dame will be a package deal for the Big Ten. Seriously? Through 137 years of existence, Notre Dame football has ALWAYS remained independent. The college landscape is about to make century level changes. The new playoff format is not going to give Notre Dame the "special" status the Irish deem as normal procedure. The financial terms of B1G football media rights exceeds anything NBC can offer solely to Notre Dame. On top of that, NBC is now a partner of the Big Ten and those Peacock executives want the merger. Money talks and the Irish will walk, a geographical and financial marriage that not even the Vatican could have arranged better. The move won't be instant, but sooner than most believe.

Florida State is going to the Big Ten, not the SEC. Despite FSU not currently being an AAU member like 13 out of 14 current Big Ten members represent, that ESPN/SEC ship sailed (ESPN has full SEC media rights). That decision was all but decided a year ago apparently behind closed doors and then further strengthened by the fact ESPN just accused FSU of criminal activity for revealing ESPN trade secrets in their legal battle with the ACC. The Big Ten just struck gold at the end of the P2 Rainbow. Notre Dame and FSU football, that's big, really B1G. The Big Ten footprint now goes into the Sunshine State and into Catholic television sets world wide.

The most recent disaster in this process was the ACC adding California, Stanford and SMU to the league for 2024. This was a total life jacket grabbing maneuver by both sides, especially considering the ACC is about to implode. Their additions devalue the ACC television market and does not provide any financial compensation for Cal, Stanford or SMU in the short term, including how much those three express additions get compensated for traveling from Atlantic to Pacific. Gee, the traffic is terrific.

Clemson and North Carolina are going to the SEC. Greg Sankey, the commissioner of the SEC, has made it clear those programs are top line expansion choices. The enigma in the equation will be Miami and to a lesser degree Virginia. Miami is an AAU member private institution. If anyone believes the Hurricanes with their history of football the past 45 years is going to be left out of the big boy club without a fight...think again. Expect Miami to land in one of the P2 conferences, but it may take another five years or so before the offer is extended. Keep in mind however, that by 2030 the annual financial gap between P2 schools and everyone else will be around $50 million. That's a gap. Miami administrators would be well advised to get off their seat and make some noise concerning a transition to another league as opposed to sitting/waiting to see what FSU and Notre Dame decides.

Virginia is a highly regarded AAU member just as well. There have been a large handful of realignment discussions that do bring up UVA in regards to the P2. If an institution is not bringing gigantic media footprints, then academics better be one of those accolades sought after by the Big Ten. The SEC not so much in regards to AAU status. Five ACC schools are AAU members, Virginia Tech is not one of them. If that's a must-have for the Big Ten, then smaller media market Virginia Tech is on the outside looking in. However, Virginia and Virginia Tech are not a package deal. In fact, the odds say both end up in different conferences.

BIG 12 / PAC 12 / P3 / G6
The Big 12 could potentially expand to as many as 30-40 teams for a mega conference while picking up ACC teams left outside the P2 along with a a host of potential G5 higher profile programs. If anything, just to make sure the Big 12 carries somewhat of a similar market clout marshaled by the P2...making this a P3 world. The invitation to the Big 12, like everything else in this realignment era, has to do with football television power and regional footprints.

Watch for the Pac 12 - which currently is the Pac 2 containing Oregon State and Washington State - to merge with the Mountain West Conference. California and Stanford will move back home along with SMU wheeling and dealing for the same. The Pac 12 will have a Texas footprint in all likelihood. The league will keep the traditional Pac 12 name, but won't be given Power Conference status that comes with higher payouts and playoff automatic qualifier (AQ) status. In short, the new Pac 12 will make the G5 entity a G6 entity.

Oh man, a basketball legend is caught in the middle of a football driving machine. The Blue Devil pigskin program doesn't have a draw. Probably not enough to where the basketball program can warrant their athletic program Power Conference status. Why the Duke question is important in all this realignment discussion has to do with the fate of men's basketball madness as a whole for those outside power conference status, not just for Duke. Is their fate affected when the P2 manufactures its own football identity? The term to make sure your school has a seat at the big boy table is March Madness "Leverage". And that "Leverage" for schools looking outside the P2 window is on the table now, even more so by the time all this football alliance unravels come summer. If P2 football status is the box of dynamite -- schools like Duke, Louisville and UConn are the fuse. Non-P2 schools have won 14 of the last 15 men's basketball national championships. They can take their hoops prowess ball and go home to form their own March Madness Tournament with all the other non-P2 schools. Be careful what you wish for.

The new 12 team playoff format commences in 2024. Expect the number to jump to 16 teams by 2025. The P2 wants eight guaranteed AQ slots. And they are going to get it like many other things they demand. The majority train of thought is that the P2 will grow to a point financially through media rights domination and their own rules interpretation that they will eventually split (maybe before 2030) into their own league, separate from the rest with their own rules, their own playoff format, their own champions.

We could be looking at another Division I alliance in college athletics that go beyond FBS and FCS. Different minor league levels (or tiers) so to speak.

The P2 crowd just assumes the outsiders will do as they are told. Once again, be careful what you wish for.

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.


coming soon