Place your (hypothetical) bets: Realignment Edition

Lots of talk about what we want or don't want to happen, but let's talk about what you think will actually happen:

Question 1:
What is the likelihood that, in the next calendar year, one or more current ACC teams (counting ND) announces that they will leave the conference?

Question 2:
What conference does VT play the 2025/2026 season in?

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


I'll go first:

  1. 80% chance the ACC stays in tact, as is
  2. 84% chance VT is still in the ACC in 2025/26, 10% chance we're in the SEC, 5% chance we're in the B10, 1% chance we're somewhere else

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If VT is in the ACC in 2025, what do you think it looks like? Same as today (just comparatively way poorer) or have other schools left us behind with ECU and Navy?

Same as today, with no teams leaving.

If teams do leave the ACC, I don't think any expansion/replacement happens. IMO there's 2 possible responses to that situation:

  • The ACC remains alive as an 8-12 team league - between 2 and 6 programs leave, no new programs added.
  • The ACC falls apart a la the Big East. Maybe a new conference reuses the name, but the conference is completely different in make up and priorities

I don't see ECU ever getting an invite to the modern ACC. I don't see Navy wanting to compete in something resembling the modern ACC. If the ACC becomes the Big East south - G5 (whatever we call it) football with top notch basketball from academically inclined universities - I could see Navy joining, but IMO that would fall into scenario 2 above, with over 50% of the teams gone.

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I (hope) The ACC will stand firm to 75 years of tradition and not add a senseless directional school with no academic profile (USF, ECU, UCF, ODU, Liberty) or a decent academic school that has never been D1 in football (JMU). I sincerely hope that if the ACC MUST add schools it is of the major university variety. Once you are in a conference with ECU, your sports programs are no longer big time. Full stop.

I do too.
But, ACC has screwed the pooch with contracts, $.
IMO, all this goes away if the ACC re-configures contracts with TV, apparel etc and significantly ups the payouts to member universities. That would allow us-VT and the ACC to be intact.

I doubt they will, so, I'd say >50% chance a member university announces its leaving ACC.
75% VT is playing ACC schedule '25-'26, 10% SEC, 12% Big10 (Sands with big10 connections) and 3% all hell breaks loose.

Oh I think Miami is leaving regardless. They are shopping themselves and hope FSU comes on board as a package.

The ACC can't "reconfigure" their TV deal unless something changes significantly, like adding ND. Otherwise ESPN isn't going to change the contract to give us more money than the have to.

The apparel deals are up to the individual schools, not the ACC, but the money is peanuts compared to the TV deals, regardless.

Agree 100% that if the directional schools get added, the conference is dead. Just saying that if the ACC starts to lose teams, there won't be a lot of legit schools/brands laying around unless they manage to steal away some Big 12 schools who don't get invited other places.

Question 1: I'd put it at 30% that a team announces they're leaving. It's certain that most are trying but for them to announce probably means that 1) Another conference has made a move to invite them and it seems like the players are being very methodical/slow here. We basically went a year between big announcements (Texas/OU to SEC and now B1G expansion) and 2) that they got out of the GOR which may be beatable but doesn't seem to be a quick fix.

Question 2: I'd say the odds in Vegas are probably: SEC +150, B1G +200, Orphan ACC/Big 12/Pac 12 zombie: +200. So I'd guess/hope SEC but nothing would surprise me.

Question 1: I would bet within the next calendar year, by 7/8/23, someone has announced something regarding leaving the ACC, but lower probability like 66%

Question 2: My hope would be SEC, but B1G would be great too. My fear is a Pac12/ACC combo with the dregs of both conferences. I'm going 40% SEC, 30% B1G, 25% ACC/Pac12, 5% something else

1) 50/50 everyone is watching and scheming right now

2) 75% ACC, 15% SEC, 5% B1G/Bi(G5) XII respectfully

  1. In the next calendar year, there is a 30% chance that ND leaves for the Big 10. <15% chance of anyone else leaving in the next 18 months.
  2. In 2025-26, VT has a 75% chance to be playing in the ACC, but has a 15% chance to be in the ACC for a final season with an agreement to leave for another conference.

Would you like Prys with that?

IMO nothing happens until ND makes a move. And I don't think they will. They want to be special, they want flexibility in their scheduling, and they want to have their cake and eat it too. And they can afford to do so.

If ND leaves, I think the ACC falls apart - the GoR will likely be broken. The SEC will probably poach 2 teams from VA/Carolinas in response, the B12 will poach other football-first-programs, and there are 8-10 teams left.

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Yeah, ND has to bolt to the B1G for the big shit show to kickoff.

Agree. Still not enough incentive to join a football conference if you are ND. Plus their hoops and Olympics are already in the best league for that across the board. Why join a league?

Q1: 85% chance


"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

Q1: 100%
Q2: 50% SEC, 25% Big 10, 25% left out in the cold

Both the SEC and B1G are going to be at 16 teams. I can't see them changing to 18 anytime soon. 20% chance anybody from the ACC moves on in the next year.

Question 1:
What is the likelihood that, in the next calendar year, one or more current ACC teams (counting ND) announces that they will leave the conference? - 33% chance of this happening within 12 months. 75% chance of this happening within 24 months. Once that dam breaks, you'll see upwards of 8 ACC teams sucked up by the SEC and Big Ten.

Question 2:
What conference does VT play the 2025/2026 season in?
If its up to us? SEC. If we are forced to be tied to the hip with UVa, then Big Ten.

This is my school
This is home

Q1: 30% - I don't think any teams will leave the ACC (despite how badly they may want to) in the next calendar year. The B1G and SEC are both set at 16 teams for the foreseeable future and they probably have no interest in messing with the GoR. The ACC isn't a threat to either the SEC or the B1G so leaving that ship alone to sink on its own is fine by them.

Q2: 90% that VT will be in the ACC in '25/'26 - the ACC is weak but stable. If a team or two do leave the ACC for some greener pastures, it's probably not going to be VT. ND is the obvious #1 likely team to leave. After that, it's going to be a school that won't mind taking on the GoR (I don't see VT leadership as remotely interested in trying to get out from under it on their own). I think the only way the GoR falls apart and teams get off (relatively) scott free is if at least 8 teams leave at once and that would require an incredibly well coordinated effort which I just don't see happening.

What I want to happen is for the ACC to completely fall apart and VT, perhaps among a small handful of other teams, gets a seat at the big-kid table (SEC or B1G - I don't really care that much except that I'd be more likely to travel to SEC away games). I think being in the top tier of football is great for the entire university. I think for VT to continue to grow and become a top notch institution it is important to align the football program with the best in the land. I want that. I also think the ACC has been horrendously mismanaged (nepotism is killer) and it's not a good place to be for any team. VT has enough of a football brand, I think, to do well in a league that has better management.

Onward and upward

My understanding (as a non-lawyer who spends way too much time reading college football message boards and listening to podcasts) is that once one team leaves the ACC, that would trigger a change to the TV contract, which would trigger a change to the Grant of Rights, meaning there is a window for other teams to leave.

For example, suppose ND leaves to join the B10. VT could then say "We didn't agree to a 20 year contract that doesn't include ND, we're out, byyyyeeee"

So, in all likelihood, either nothing changes, or a lot changes (again, I'm basing this on the hours and hours I've spent on message boards and listening to podcasts)

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The ACC was a great fit on paper, and in the 2000s. But its small potatoes, nepotistic, keep-Tobacco-Road-happy-at-all-costs mindset has resulted in a catastrophic failure to keep up with the gonzo arms race that revenue college sports has become. I have no great affection for the conference any longer, and would love us to be rid of it. Preferably in the SEC, but at this point I'll take a seat at the table no matter which side

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

This perfectly sums up my feelings. Well said.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

I'd really love to get into the B1G just because I like cold weather games, but that feels unrealistic so definitely SEC preferred. But I agree, I am so done with the ACC after they screwed us with our pod and dumped Miami. They never wanted us and still don't. I'd be OK with jumping to Big 12 with Pitt and Louisville to make a WVU, Cinci, Louisville, Pitt pod. It wouldn't make us top shelf but at least it would be fun. As long as the prior 2 options aren't open and were left in the cold.

given what David Hale has said, I may edit my %s to 5 and 95 respectively. My arguments remain the same.

Onward and upward

Question 1: 50% in the next 12 months, 95% in the next 24 months.

Rationale: As I understand it, ND currently receives $15M/year from NBC and ~$35M/year (2021) from the ACC, for a total of roughly $50M/year.

With the addition of USC and UCLA, it is estimated that the B1G's per-school payout will exceed $100M annually. Even if the addition of ND doesn't drive that number higher, and I suspect it would, I don't think ND can continue to ignore a $50M+/year revenue gap. I believe that they will be forced to join a conference to have any hope of keeping pace with other elite programs, and I can't see the ACC matching that number.

Question 2: I think there's a 50% chance that VT is in the SEC or B1G for the '25-'26 season, and a 50% chance that we're still in whatever is left of the ACC.

Rationale: When ND leaves, the flood gates will open with Miami, FSU, Clemson, UNC, and maybe even GT looking to make a move. I don't think that VA politicians will insist that VT & UVA be in the same conference, but I do think that they will insist that both schools have a comparable landing spot. Whether that's both in the SEC or B1G, or split between those two, or just staying behind in the ACC, I have no idea.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

For question two, I would give seven to five odds that we're still in the ACC, 10 to 1 sec, 15 to 1 Big 10, 50 to 1 Big 12, 100 to 1 other conference, 500 to 1 FCS, 10,000 to one independent.

For question one I would give 1 to 10 odds for one team and even money for more than one team.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

1). 100% of the time, I am 80% correct.
2). 100% chance VT has a 50% or greater chance of being in a conference.

Did I do that right?

"Vick, dashing back . . . here he comes again . . . Electrifying . . . and have you ever seen anything like this?"

Edit: Meant to reply to 99Hokes03

The ACC will absolutely not exist as it is now in the next 5 years. Period. I'm hearing this from multiple people here in North Carolina (people connected/in both the UNC and NCSU athletic departments). It simply cannot survive the current landscape.

Where does everyone go? Who knows. But things will shift in some, likely significant, way as it relates to the ACC.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I like our odds better in the B1G than the SEC.

That said, I don't think VT gets an invite somewhere else until they decide that 24 teams is their next logical step. At that point, the football season is going to be a 12 week reg season, the B24G Superconference will be divided into two 12-team Conferences with 2 6-team Divisions. There will be conference championships at the conclusion of the regular season, then a Superconference championship the next week. This sets the stage for the National Championship game between the Superconference Champs on New Years Day.

Bowl games will be played to funnel additional money to the Superconferences and let the non-Superconference teams get some scraps which ESPN will claim is a fair deal.

Have you entered your PICK 6 on CBSSports yet? Click Here!

80% chance of something like this.

100% VT would be a part of it.

#Let's Go - Hokies

In the next calendar year? >50% chance the ACC is not in its current state.

Unfortunately, I don't have faith that VT will have escaped the ACC by 2025-26. We have the leadership team in place to make an escape happen, but opinions on our appeal are so wildly varied that I think it more prudent to get used to disappointment. I'd love to be wrong.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Well here are some real bets you could make. Some of these feel like bait, but these are payouts for teams to get an invite before the end of the year.

Next School To Accept An Invitation From The SEC

Clemson +250
Florida State +250
Miami +325
Louisville +500
Baylor +500
Oklahoma State +600
Cincinnati +750

Next School To Accept An Invitation From The Big Ten
Notre Dame +150
Oregon +150
Washington +600
Kansas +1400
Cincinnati +1500
North Carolina +2000
Arizona +1800
Duke +2000
Oklahoma State +2000
Stanford +2000
Syracuse +2500
California +2000


I am not sure what to do with my hands now

1) it hurts that VT isn't on any of these lists

2) it hurts even more that Cincy is on both of these lists

Onward and upward

It's meaningless.

I wish I could bet that Cincy doesn't get into the B1G in the next decade. OH St is never going to get on board with that. If it wasn't for the SEC raiding the Big12, Cincy would still be the pride of the AAC.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

I agree with Skipper and Gall; the next announcements other than ND will be for schools in NC and VA. I think the ESPN conferences are likely to make the first move; so VT and either UNC or NCSU. I think teams might get a waiver of the GOR if ESPN keeps the conference whole for the duration of the contract (difficult to show damages), something B1G can't do. So pay the steep exit fee and leave (and the SEC could loan that $$$).

1) 50% that announcement is this year

2) SEC

With Sands and Pry both being B1G alums, there's a greater than 50% chance we will be in the B1G. We have far too many Olympic sports who won't have a home in the SEC.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Pry also was James Franklin's AHC and DC at Vanderbilt for three years, so he's coached in the SEC as well.

Whit has been at WVU and Cincy(Big 12) and Missouri (SEC)

And I would like to think we have a vote on the inside with former VT assistant AD and Whit protege Desiree Reed-Francois as the current AD at Missouri.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

1) 25% chance an ACC team announces that they're planning on leaving for another conference in X years.

After one school announces they are gone, the rest start looking for a new home, unless it's ND. Since the GOR isn't really a problem until you depart for another conference, the X years is the countdown for 8+ ACC schools to find another conference, and when X years is up, there will be enough schools leaving to cancel the GOR.

2) ACC. X years won't be up in '25/'26.

Question 1: <10% any more changes happen in the next calendar year to the ACC, B1G, or SEC (remaining PAC + BigXII merger could still happen). The SEC got their big fish with Tx and OU. B1G got their big fish with USC and UCLA. The B1G's move coincided with the ending of the PAC's current deal so the timing made it a clean easy break. Now both big fish are set with what they need for ridiculous paydays in the coming round of contract negotiations. More teams before those negotiations risk diminishing returns and unnecessary legal and practical hurdles.

Question 2: By the time the 2025/2026 season happens, I could see enough discontent among top ACC schools about the $ disparity having seen the effects for a year or two leading to upheaval. That leads me to think it is about 50/50 that the ACC is still intact by then. If that happens, I see ND + UVa in the B1G and UNC + VT in the SEC.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Cincinnati in the SEC or Oregon in the SEC is just dumb, change the name of the conference if that is the case. I feel like I am watching college football fall apart very quickly. I want to say rich and powerful people have ruined the sport but what do I know.


Wtf is GOR? Thnx!!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

During a previous round of realignment fun & games, the ACC schools signed their media rights over to the conference through mid-2036. Technically they extended the existing agreement, but regardless... this so-called "Grant of Rights" means that all TV/ESPN revenue belongs to the conference, not the schools, even if a school leaves for another conference. The intent was to stabilize the conference (ie, prevent defections) by setting an extremely high barrier to exit.

Here is an article that explains it in more detail.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

TL;DR - GoR = 'Grant of Rights' = The name of the contract that is holding the ACC together, preventing teams from leaving.

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How long after the realignment dust settles, does the SEC & Big Ten tell the NCAA to piss off and form their own college football league? Essentially the SEC & Big Ten become collegiate versions of the AFC & NFC.

Right now, the only thing I see preventing the two confrences from doing it is the leverage the NCAA has over all other collegiate sports.

If someone figures out how to also extricate basketball from the NCAA, I think happens.

I don't see something like that outright happening. Doesn't make sense for the SEC to drag in Vanderbilt and for the B1G to rag in Rutgers and UMD into a super league. They would want to consolidate high value/teams that are still on the table. At the end of the day, if you are going to consolidate brand recognition and high viewership fanbases, both conferences still have dead weight.

Big 10 and SEC trade back Rutgers, UMD, South Carolina and Vandy to the ACC for UVA, VT, Louisville, and Clemson?

1) I'll say, 80%. SEC is not known to sit and wait. They grab what they want.
2) More difficult to answer. If I were SEC then the clear grabs from ACC are FSU, Miami and Clemson. Owning Florida makes strategic sense. 99% of top recruits from there will stay in conference. Clemson is a no brainer.

Then it comes down to UNC or VT, IMO. And the problem there is that in the same way that tobacco road good ol boy douches screwed the ACC, they will pay their way in and VT won't be able to compete. I think that particular rat will be the first one to jump the sinking ship they themselves made.

So hopefully that lands VT into the B1G. Not my preference though.

Hopefully they try to keep the ACC together and VT can sneak out before they act themselves.

I feel the opposite of #2 - SEC doesn't want to 'own' all of the schools in the state - one school in each state is ideal. UF wants to be the only SEC school in Florida (for recruiting purposes). UGA, SCar, Kentucky, etc want to be the only SEC schools in their respective states - and I would wager that they'll try to keep it this way.

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I agree. I think the SEC would like to expand their footprint before adding redundant locations (Clemson, FSU, Miami).

Adding those schools doesn't make sense to me. They may later at another round of expansion but this go around I think they look to expand footprint to NC and VA if there is expansion. I'm a little leary of going to the SEC for the sake of going, but if teams are going to leave the ACC I don't want to be left there and obviously the money from the TV will be a huge bonus for us.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

I want VT to have the same base TV money as the best teams.

I'm fine in the ACC if they can achieve that, and if they can't, I want to be in a conference that can.

I'm fine in the ACC if they can achieve that, and if they can't, I want to be in a conference that can.

it is extremely clear by now that the ACC cannot achieve that.

Onward and upward

ACC shits on all the big football schools in favor of basketball schools. Apparently isn't worth much in its TV deal. *shocked Pikachu*

Oregon to the SEC. Just because.

#Let's Go - Hokies

good point. I can see that and would be a saving grace for VT but I definitely see them taking at least one Florida school. Despite what UF wants, Florida market is segmented and much larger than UF which makes FSU and Miami attractive.

I actually don't think Florida is that segmented, which is something pointed out by Steven Godfrey and split zone duo. This the class of 2023 FL state rankings. Teams are already going into Florida; adding Miami and FSU isn't really going to change that. FSU seems like the move because of their more consistent fan base but a Florida school isn't a must imo.

What you talking about Willis?!

Florida TV market is incredibly segmented, from Panhandle, to mid-State, to South. It supports 3 major Universities plus a host of 2nd tier Universities. Not to mention 2 NFL teams.

Capturing all of Florida is a huge coup if they do it.

There are actually three nfl teams in florida, unless you're not counting the jaguars on purpose (i'd understand)

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

lol, I've been gone too long. 🤣

Yes exactly. 3 nfl teams. Proves the point even more

Based on what the SEC has done in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, I think they're cool with having State U and U of State in their conference - if both teams add distinct value.

So I think Clemson and FSU would be SEC grabs. UNC and NCSt. LOLUVA and VT are on the outskirts, but as a pair I think they would make some level of sense. They ain't addin' Louisville. Miami might be left out in the cold but there is some risk there if the SEC didn't want Miami. Ultimately I think the brand has enough national value so I'd think they'd be SEC - especially if the Big Ten came calling, SEC would defend south FL. Defending the SE might mean Miami and GT both go to SEC.

I guess a new question I'm now thinking of is: If the Big Ten tried to land in SEC territory, would the SEC try to block them by offering invitations to the GTs and Miamis of the region? Would the SEC allow the Big Ten to come into their territory for strategic value? I'm going to wager that if the Big Ten offered GT or Miami, the SEC would also offer to prevent the Big Ten from landing in their market.

Based on what the SEC has done in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, I think they're cool with having State U and U of State in their conference - if both teams add distinct value.

These were all founding members. Texas is the only time in SEC history that the SEC has added an existing member from the same state as a current school, and that's because (1) (most importantly) Texas is Texas and (2) A&M is a new comer. FSU/Clemson/Miami are not Texas. UF and SCar are not newcomers.

The calculus can always change, but I don't see the SEC adding any schools from existing states.

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I don't think the SEC or Big 10 necessarily see a need to defend their geographic territory anymore. Especially with this level of expansion, there's going to be overlap. They may in fact think splitting a state would foster SEC-Big 10 rivalries (i.e. VT & NCSU to SEC, LOLUVA & UNC to Big 10, etc) and if that's the case, I could see Miami, GT, and even Clemson to the Big 10.

I would think UF doesn't care as much about the other schools in Florida as the rest of the SEC. UF always has had to recruit against FSU and Miami. But if I'm south Carolina and want a Fla recruit, we'll now I have something to offer, the SEC competition. So USCe is in better position against FSU and Miami than it would be if they were in the SEC.

What competition though? The teams at the top roll the middle and bottom ones. SC is hardly competitive at all

Yes but the players on the bottom teams get to show off against Bama and such, which is better for NFL chances.

Yeah many recruits have that perception for sure, I've met several. But I'm not sure how true it actually is

My bet: a dying ACC refuses to see the writing on the wall, adds UCF, App St, Coastal Carolina and ECU. Commish Phillips pats himself on the back, declares the ACC a super-conference on par with the SEC and B1G, and as punishment for our wanting to jump ship, sticks us with an annual game against ECU in perpetuity.

Sweet dreams

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

low key worried this is actually what will happen

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Yeah, I wasn't entirely joking, but man I hope I'm wrong

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Isn't UCF in the Big 12 now?

Shit, I forgot UCF was moving to Big 12 next year...guess we'll have to set our sights on FIU

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.