So it looks like the ACC will be just fine.
When Maryland first announced its intention to leave the ACC for the Big Ten, one common thought was that the Terps move would trigger another round of conference relocation. The end result, many suggested, was the demise of the ACC.
That no longer looks like the case. News emerged that the existing schools in the ACC – minus Maryland – plus newcomers Louisville and Syracuse agreed to sign over their television rights through 2026 in an agreement called a “grant of rights.”
Here’s Pete Thamel from SI to explain:
Essentially, this announcement protects the ACC from other leagues — the Big Ten and Big 12, specifically — taking its teams. For the next few decades, no teams will be able to leave the ACC without sacrificing their media rights, hence giving those schools no value to the leagues looking to expand.
As a Maryland fan, I’m having a tough time with all of this. I know that the decision to jump to the Big Ten was made for money. The B1G will pay the Terps more, regardless of the ACC grant of rights agreement.
But for me it was a lot easier to swallow Maryland leaving the ACC with the underlying thought that the conference as I knew it would collapse. Now, knowing it won’t, knowing that other natural rivals rumored to be making the B1G move as well — schools like UVa. or Georgia Tech — won’t be coming, makes the B1G news that much worse.
I’m not naïve, this was a cash grab from the beginning, but now it seems obvious Maryland could have stayed in a solidified ACC and probably figured out their financial woes. With all of the ACC teams staying in place, the next TV deals will bring in more revenue, an ACC channel is quite realistic, and the money gap between the B1G and ACC will shrink.
Who knows. Maybe FSU or Clemson already has a team of lawyers figuring out a way to wiggle out of this agreement. But it sure doesn’t seem like it.
The Big Ten is a great league, the football is significantly better, the hoops is great, and the money will be better. But it aint the ACC I’ve grown up watching.
I will miss the Duke games, the Bojangles ads, even the dreaded Carolina refs. New rivalries will emerge in the B1G, I know that, but today I’m sad. My first reaction to the news of Maryland going to the Big Ten was a sad reluctance. It sucked but it made sense.
Now, I’m worried it just sucks. Not sure it makes sense.