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#pounditThursday, July 25, 2024

Report: ACC, Big 12 showing interest in adding Cal, Stanford

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The Pac-12 imploding last week has left Cal, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State exploring their options and looking for a new athletic conference. Cal and Stanford reportedly are drawing some interest from other conferences.

The Athletic reported on Monday that the ACC has had preliminary talks about potentially adding Cal and Stanford. It seems more like the conference is exploring the possibility of adding the teams and that no move is imminent.

Arizona Wildcats reporter Jason Scheer, who has been all over the Pac-12 realignment story better than anyone else, says that in addition to the ACC, the Big 12 is showing interest in Cal and Stanford.

However, Brett McMurphy reported that the Big 12 said they are done adding schools.

The Big 12 might just say that publicly to have a negotiating edge with teams interested in joining their conference.

Cal and Stanford have been left behind due to poor performance and a lack of fan interest in the two revenue-driving sports: football and men’s basketball. Though both schools have had poor success in both sports recently (especially Cal) and have poor attendance and fan interest, there are many qualities about each school that potential conferences could find desirable.

Both schools have excellent academic reputations — especially Stanford. They both have strong brand names. They theoretically bring in the Bay Area TV market, though fans in that area have little interest in the schools’ sports. And both schools excel in the non-revenue sports.

Joining the ACC might not be realistic, especially with Florida State and Clemson already complaining about the equal way revenue is divided among schools in the conference. The Big 12 though might feel those schools could enhance the conference’s reputation.

If Cal and Stanford were to join either of those conferences, it could make sense for them to do so for football only (especially if it’s the ACC) due to travel expenses. They could then find a local conference for the rest of their teams, like the West Coast Conference.

Ultimately, Cal and Stanford were left behind for a reason. They still are desirable adds for some conferences, but both schools might not be too thrilled about their remaining options.

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