Once again the specter of college football conference realignment has descended upon us.
The Big Ten is probably content to stand pat at 14 teams for the moment, but what of the ACC? The ACC will add Syracuse and Pitt next year, bringing their total number up to what they thought would be 14 teams. Now it’s just 13. Somebody has to take the place of Maryland and it has to happen soon.
The ACC should move to acquire the University of Florida Gators.
For years commissioner John Swofford has fantasized about expanding his conference’s footprint into the sunshine state. Cable subscribers in Tampa, Jacksonville and, oh yeah, MIAMI (not to mention Florida’s capital city of Tallahassee) would bring tremendous windfalls of cash into his members’ coffers. Coaches at Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia and Boston College would be positively floored at the potential recruiting advantages that go along with playing games in front of thousands of people in the State of Florida.
With the southernmost member of the ACC currently located in Atlanta, the conference really is only a regional interest confined mostly to Tobacco Road and the Northeast corridor. Adding a team from Florida would not only add a gigantic television market, but it would bring in a top-tier basketball program and give the ACC an air of football legitimacy. It is a no-brainer.
For the Gators, the move provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to truly enhance their basketball program. Playing at Chapel Hill and in front of the Cameron Crazies must have Billy Donovan drooling. The ACC also gives the Florida football program a straight shot to the national championship every single season. Who’s on the schedule? Wake Forest? Duke? I think Will Muschamp would gladly drop annual meetings with top-5 programs LSU and Georgia in exchange for NC State and Clemson. Clemson would probably be the hardest game every year! HA!
Florida to the ACC truly is a win-win scenario for all involved. Swofford needs to get on the phone with Jeremy Foley, like, yesterday.