The Pittsburgh Panthers and the Syracuse Orange have both applied to and been accepted as new members of the ACC, the conference announced today. The addition brings the ACC to a total of 14 schools.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse will each have to pay a $5 million dollar exit fee for leaving the Big East. In addition, Big East by-laws state that schools who leave the conference must provide 27 months’ notice.
However, lawyers for both schools are expected to negotiate that time frame down. Otherwise they couldn’t begin ACC play until the 2014 football season.
Various reports have also indicated that Texas and Texas Tech could move to the ACC. There are also rumors that current Big East schools Connecticut and Rutgers could apply to the conference.
For now, the ACC is at 14 schools and could very likely end up at 16. Both scenarios mean that the ACC will probably realign and change their division names. Currently the divisions are Atlantic and Coastal, but they could become a more geographical North and South.
It also means that the ACC’s future football schedules will change. When the conference expanded to 12 with the addition of Boston College and Miami (FL), the format was set through the 2015 season.
It remains to be seen what this announcement means for the future of the Big East. The conference is now down to seven football schools, which includes the addition of TCU in 2012. If Rutgers and UConn were to move to the ACC, it would almost certainly be the end of the Big East as a football conference.