The last two college football off seasons have been exciting and disruptive to say the least. Conferences such as the PAC-12 and Big-12 have lost their two biggest programs to either the SEC or the Big Ten.
With that being said, all eyes have turned to the ACC. Outside of the SEC and Big Ten, the ACC holds some of the biggest brands in multiple sports. Hence the reason why either Super-Conference would want to snatch up a program or two.
Unlike the PAC-12 and Big-12, the ACC has a grant of rights deal that runs until 2035. If any program decides to leave the conference, they will have to pay a hefty fine of $100 million. Not to mention, all of their media rights would still be with the ACC until the deal ends.
Therefore, the programs in the ACC will be sticking together for the near future. However, this does not mean that after the deal is over that all the programs will stay together.
Nonetheless, the ACC will need for Clemson, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech to lead the charge back to the top. Although the other programs are nice, these aforementioned programs are the biggest football brands in the ACC.
The ACC Defining Matchups
Florida State athletic director Michael Alford said the most unlikely words from an FSU executive ” I’ll be a Miami fan.” Granted, FSU’s AD was referencing the matchup between Miami and Texas A&M in week 3.
Nevertheless, the ACC will have ample opportunity this year to make a statement. FSU plays LSU week 1 in primetime on Sunday. The day prior, the Pitt Panthers, the defending ACC champions, will face Tennessee. three solid ACC vs SEC matchups in the first three weeks of the season.
Clemson had an off year in 2021 and still dominated the South Carolina Gamecocks in their annual rivalry game. The Tigers are expected to do the same in 2022.
Lastly, the Notre Dame matchups are big, but seeing that Notre Dame is like an honorary member of the ACC, I don’t count those games.
The ACC creditability and value are being attacked from every media brand that covers college football. At the core of it all, the ACC needs to win games out of conference in order to quiet the naysayers.