ACC schools would have to pay $ 500 million to leave, per report

The college football arms race is in full swing, with conference realignment talks dominating the landscape. Since the Big Ten dropped a bombshell with the announcement it was adding USC and UCLA by 2024, the nation has been waiting to see how every other conference will respond. Most expect the SEC, with Oklahoma and Texas already on the way, to be fairly aggressive with expansion. Reports have flown around that it is eyeing the ACC’s Clemson, Florida State and Miami as potential targets to bring into the fold – with mutual interest among the two parties. According to CBS Sports ’Dennis Dodd, though, that move would cost a hefty sum of $ 500 million.

“Clemson, Florida State and Miami may be eyeing the SEC, but how do they get out,” Dodd said. “I talked to one source last night who told me it would cost ACC teams, right now, $ 500 million to get out of the current deal. That’s going to be kind of hard to finance. ”

Adding Clemson, Florida State and Miami would not do much to increase the SEC’s footprint, but it would bolster the conference’s status. Clemson has been a mainstay around the College Football Playoff in recent years and will likely continue to be in the conversation under Dabo Swinney. Miami is on the rise under coach Mario Cristobal and Florida State is a recognizable brand that, despite recent struggles, maintains its spot among college football’s historic elite.

North Carolina is another school out of the ACC that would make sense for the SEC to target, and former UNC chancellor Holden Thorp dropped a bomb this week when joining 99.9 The Fan, saying the Tar Heels could’ve been a member of the SEC. Thorp explained the process, while he was in charge, to Joe Ovies and Joe Giglio.

“Look, Carolina is a good partner to have,” Thorp said. “So I certainly didn’t have any official conversations with the commissioner or anything like that. But you know, some of those presidents were good friends of mine and yeah, you know, presidents get together and talk about stuff. And yes, I’m pretty sure we could have gone to the SEC if we wanted to. I feel OK saying Carolina could’ve gone to the SEC if we wanted to. ”

Giglio then asked Thorp to clarify, saying former ACC commissioner John Swofford, former Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and former ESPN president John Skipper were all “Carolina guys,” and asked if Thorp was really going to say “no” to all of them.

“Well, we didn’t do it, but we thought about (going to the SEC),” Thorp said. “We thought about lots of things. Then Texas and Oklahoma stayed (in the Big 12) and we didn’t do any of them. ”

North Carolina joined the ACC in 1953 and hasn’t budged since.

The ACC is the only conference currently not in active discussions surrounding potential expansion.

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With the Big Ten expanding by poaching the Pac-12, the Big 12 is reportedly looking to add up to six teams from the Pac-12putting itself into the super-conference game and leaving the Pac-12 in limbo.

Nick Kosko contributed to this report.

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