Will Cal & Stanford join Big Ten expansion if ACC crumbles? Exploring the future of Atlantic Coast teams

Images courtesy of Stanford and California Athletics
Images courtesy of Stanford and California Athletics

The Atlantic Coast Conference has been a major topic of conversation as it is still in an ongoing legal battle with the Clemson Tigers and the Florida State Seminoles. The biggest question is whether the ACC will collapse if they exit the league. However, with two schools joining the ACC this upcoming season from the Pac-12, the California Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinal, many fans are curious if they can join the Big Ten if they jumped from another sinking ship.

Will Cal and Stanford join Big Ten expansion if ACC crumbles?

The short answer to this is no; the California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal would not be part of a Big Ten expansion. The two programs had the opportunity to join the Big Ten instead of the Atlantic Coast Conference, but the Big Ten was reportedly not interested in the program.

The Big Ten is competing for the top programs in the country as they become available as the conference was able to get teams of the caliber of the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans, which is drastically different than the level of the Stanford Cardinal and the California Golden Bears.

Will the ACC survive going forward?

The Atlantic Coast Conference has been in a bit of a pickle with the health of the conference. The two major programs currently in the ACC are the Florida State Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers, but they are in a legal battle with the conference, so there will be teams following the same formula in search of more revenue.

The Atlantic Coast Conference could be trekking down a similar path as the Pac-12, as it could wind up losing its two biggest programs (USC and UCLA) to a rival conference and see the entire infrastructure collapse as a result.

The media rights deal would force the ACC to keep adding teams to the ilk of the California Golden Bears, Stanford Cardinal and SMU Mustangs, as it is not dishing out significant money. But with teams wanting to be in a Power Five conference, the ACC should survive for the next few years, even if it were to lose Florida State and Clemson.

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