SMU is among three teams which are reportedly going to join the ACC in 2024. It is yet another school which leaves the Group of Five conferences and heads to the Power Five.
Here’s a look at SMU’s situation and what it means for the college football realignment landscape.
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Cal, Stanford, And SMU Moving To The ACC
ACC school presidents voted to add SMU, Stanford, and Cal to the conference in 2024. All three schools reportedly won’t receive full ACC revenue shares for nine years.
SMU will likely have to pay more than $10 million to the AAC as an exit fee, according to CBS, as SMU intends to leave in 27 or fewer months.
AAC commissioner Mike Aresco has contingency plans if SMU were to leave and is prepared to compete with an odd number of programs if necessary, according to Yahoo Sports. The AAC is no longer thinking about adding Oregon State or Washington State, according to multiple reports. Instead, the AAC is reportedly exploring the possibility of adding Army.
SMU Football Fundraising
SMU announced Monday that it raised $100 million in just seven days to help support its transition to the ACC.
That money will prove critical because of the funds it’s losing out on as the athletic department makes the transition to its new league. The program also publicized that media coverage of the ACC move produced over $163 million in advertising revenue in a mere three days.
“This is an unprecedented financial commitment from a core group of donors who have understood from the beginning that moving to the ACC will be transformational for our university on both athletic and academic levels,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said in a press release. “While there is still much work to be done, the ability to rally this kind of support in just one short week demonstrates that SMU and Dallas recognize the excellence of this opportunity and are stepping up to support it.”
SMU-ACC Football Record
SMU is 16-17 all-time against the teams which are currently in the ACC.
Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, N.C. State, North Carolina, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are the teams in the ACC this year.
Some of those schools have reportedly shared disinterest in adding other schools. Florida State, for example, has expressed frustration about the ACC’s media deal and a possible desire to go to another conference.
What Conference Is SMU In?
SMU has been a member of the AAC since 2013 but has long been regarded as another team which might go to the Power Five.
SMU, which was previously in Conference USA, positioned itself as the next G5 school to move on after Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati went to the Big 12 this year.
ACC Media Deal
The ACC’s media deal netted each program about $40 million in 2021-22, according to Yahoo Sports. The deal is set to expire in 2036.
In comparison, the media deals for the Big Ten and SEC both give over $50 million to each school.
AAC Media Deal
The AAC and ESPN agreed to a 12-year contract worth about $1 billion, via USA Today. The deal began in 2019 and was to pay each program just less than $7 million per year when it was made.
Pac-12 Media Deal
The Pac-12’s current media deal with FOX and ESPN is reportedly worth $250 million per year and will expire in 2024-25. The conference was seeking a new deal before several teams decided to leave.
SMU, as well as San Diego State and other G5 schools, were reportedly possible additions for the Pac-12. But the Mountain West welcomed the Aztecs back, and SMU began considering other routes forward.
Oregon State and Washington State took action which indicates the universities intend on seeing if they can keep the Pac-12 alive, via ESPN. They sought a restraining order, which a judge granted this week, via a legal complaint they filed against the Pac-12 and its commissioner, George Kliavkoff.
The presidents of Washington State and Oregon State should reportedly make up the conference’s board of directors, according to Pac-12 bylaws, since those two schools are the only ones in the league who have yet to indicate they are leaving. That could mean those leaders alone eventually gain the power to decide what to do with the Pac-12 and its resources like TV revenue.