The conclusion of this insanity will not be marked by the dismantling of the league previously known as the Pac-12. As the ACC is a top-heavy league with seven unhappy members who would instead earn money in the SEC, many observers believe it will be the next conference to fold.
If the SEC chooses to join forces with the ACC, following in the footsteps of what the Big Ten did to the Pac-12, the following is a ranking of the 14 football programs based on their appeal.
- The Boston College Citation
To get things off, we’ll look at Boston College as the least desirable alternative for the Southeastern Conference. There is nothing about Boston College that screams “Southeastern Conference,” and the likely reason for this is that it is not located anywhere in the southeast. It did not function geographically or culturally and was not designed to be part of the Southeastern Conference.
13 New York, Syracuse
The location of Syracuse is by far its most significant drawback. There is no remote possibility that the SEC will even come close to seriously contemplating relocating as far north as New York.
It wouldn’t be possible for Syracuse to have such a well-known brand and such good athletics if it were not the case.
The SEC would have to make a significant move up north to compete in this region, which is why it is so far down on the list. Even if Pitt’s sports wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the SEC’s, the university is a rapidly expanding brand with a promising future; the SEC isn’t the ideal conference
- Louisville, Kentuck
The University of Louisville has recently had some time in the limelight due to the tremendous talent that has come through the school’s football and basketball programs.
However, the Louisville Cardinals need to represent a significant enough brand for the Southeastern Conference to consider returning to the state of Kentucky for a second time. The market needs to be developed more to warrant interest in attending the conference.
- Wake Forest University
For years, Wake Forest has been an inconsistent contender in the ACC; nevertheless, this will not be enough for the school to be successful in the SEC. Additionally, other brands in the league would fit better with the SEC if they were used. In terms of the Carolinas, the ACC provides a variety of additional opportunities to choose from.
- The NC State University
Even though NC State has a competent sports department, the conference’s historical and conventional profile could be a better match for them. In light of this, it is a more viable alternative for the meeting than the programs stated before.
- The Virginia Tech College
Football at Virginia Tech has been successful and unsuccessful at times, but the program maintains a deep-seated commitment to tradition. There is a reasonable possibility that any interest in Virginia Tech would be limited to the state of Virginia; this is a strategy to broaden the market. On the other hand, I don’t see Virginia Tech gaining the nod over Tech.
- Georgia Institute of Technology.
A historically significant program that shares its origins with many other SEC programs. Even though Georgia Tech’s football team is currently ranked at the bottom of the ACC standings, the program has the air of a dormant powerhouse waiting for a chance to shine.
Although I believe something other than Georgia Tech would be a good match for the league now, it should be considered if other possibilities are exhausted.
The Virginia sports programs are worth looking into. Basketball has recently won the national championship, while football has been performing below expectations.
This is something that the SEC would take on as a project as they work towards moving the market a little bit farther north.
One sport, in particular, has made Duke University famous: basketball. Because of their excellent basketball team, almost any conference in the country would be interested in acquiring their sports department.
The Blue Devils have a good football program, but it needs to be on par with SEC teams. The 2019 season started with Duke playing Alabama, and the Blue Devils lost the game by 42-3.
- Miami Beach
The sports program at Miami is no longer as dominating as it was in the past. In his current role as the program’s head coach, Mario Cristobal is getting ready for his second season.
Despite the dismal performance of the 2022 season, the years to come should have more promise. Recent years have brought about significant progress for the Hurricanes basketball team, leading them to the Final Four in 2023.
This would be a fascinating pairing that would need much adapting over many years but may be successful in the long term.
The football and basketball programs of North Carolina’s Tar Heels are among the best in the country. Fans may first be confused by the decision to move the game to North Carolina, but they could eventually grow accustomed to it.
UNC has the brand awareness that conferences seek during realignment and growth. Brand recognition brings in revenue, which is what leagues seek.
- Florida State University
The football team at Florida State University has a rich tradition and is now making a comeback. The Seminoles are one of the most well-known brands in all college sports, and their campus is in the Southeastern Conference territory.
Ours is such a natural fit that it could easily replace Clemson as the best program on our list.
- Clemson University
Clemson is considered one of the most recognizable brands in college football.
Not only has the squad won several national titles in previous years, but the Tigers also often compete with teams from other SEC conferences.