The conference realignment dominoes won’t stop falling, and for the first time in this cycle, the ACC is involved.
On Sunday morning, The Action Network breaking news reporter Brett McMurphy reported that the ACC will add SMU, Stanford, and California for the 2024 football season. In order for these three universities to be admitted, affirmative votes were required from 12 of the 15 existing institutions — the 14 football members, plus Notre Dame.
This move leaves the Pac-12 down to two members for 2024 — Oregon State and Washington State. Meanwhile, SMU’s ensuing departure is the AAC’s first realignment move since the league added six CUSA schools in October 2021 to replace the likes of UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston. As of the moment, the 2024 iteration of the AAC will showcase 13 teams.
SMU’s presence in the football hotbed of Dallas was certainly a sweetener for the ACC, and the Mustangs will become the first team from Texas, or even any state that borders Texas, to be admitted into the conference. There is no natural geographic rival for SMU in the ACC, as the only university within 800 miles is Georgia Tech — which is roughly an 11-hour drive from campus. SMU will be on the mileage leaderboards each season with extremely-distant conference opponents ranging from Boston College to Miami (FL) to Stanford.
The Mustangs will enter the conference with an interesting stipulation, however. Per McMurphy, SMU will not receive any media rights revenue for the first seven years, while Stanford and Cal will receive reduced revenue shares compared to other conference members.
SMU launches its 2023 season Saturday vs. Louisiana Tech at Gerald J. Ford Stadium, which just broke ground on $100 million facilities upgrades in December. This year features the Mustangs’ final run in the AAC before transitioning to their new home.