Realignment Today: Syracuse and Pitt to ACC a done deal? KU to follow?
7:19 p.m. Update:
Boy, how things can change while you're watching a team get pounded on the field... I can only imagine that ACC officials have been talking realignment all day if things have changed as much as some are reporting.
This update from Orangebloods.com speaks to the ACC cooling on Texas — and, therefore, Kansas, too — and the most likely destination for the Longhorns becoming a combination of leftover Big East and Big 12 schools. That might be the same scenario for KU, too, now.
I'm still not sold that the ACC is completely off the table, but I do think there is plenty of support at KU for staying with K-State and Missouri, which makes the Big East and Big 12 the most likely scenarios at this point.
I just finished writing my game story from the Georgia Tech loss and I'm about to jump back on the phones now.
Before I do, here's the updated percentage wheel.
- Big 12 - 30%
- Big East - 30%
- ACC - 21%
- Big Ten - 17%
- Pac-12 - 2%
11:02 a.m. Update:
About 30 minutes until kickoff and, so far this morning, the talk around Bobby Dodd Stadium has been a lot more about Syracuse and Pitt than Georgia Tech and Kansas.
I've asked around and many other people in the press box have their own sources who back up what I reported earlier. The Syracuse and Pitt think looks very solid at the moment and more than a few local media members have their own sources saying they've heard KU is an ACC target. Perhaps we're talking to some of the same people.
8:26 a.m. Update:
Quick update on the New York Times report about Syracuse and Pitt conducting talks with the ACC. I'm hearing now that this will happen and that the ACC will make the announcement sometime Sunday.
It is believed that the ACC is serious about not getting left out in the cold on all of this expansion stuff. Them making the first bold move like this would certainly indicate that.
What's more, the rumors are roaring that the league would like Texas and Kansas to become the 15th and 16th members. There's a lot of stuff that would need to happen before we reach that point. And just because the ACC wants those two schools doesn't mean the ACC will get them.
That said, it is in line with what I've been hearing all along and would make a ton of sense for Kansas. Remember, KU's chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little, came from North Carolina, where she was the provost, aka No. 2 on the totem pole. Gray-Little knows the ACC administrators very well and most that I've talked to throughout the last few weeks have praised her for being actively and passionately involved in the realignment talks.
Updated percentage wheel... we have a new leader.
- ACC - 41%
- Big 12 - 29%
- Big Ten - 14%
- Big East - 11%
- Pac-12 - 5%
8:15 a.m. Update:
It's gameday in Atlanta and most of today will be spent focusing on KU's attempt to improve to 3-0 by knocking off Georgia Tech for the second straight season.
Be sure to check back about an hour before kickoff to follow along with Jesse Newell's live gameday blog.
That said, just because it's Saturday and just because we all should be focused 100 percent on football, does not mean that the realignment talk will stop.
Late last night a report surfaced from Pete Thamel of the New York Time that said that Pittsburgh and Syracuse were involved in talks with the ACC about joining the Atlantic Coast Conference.
What this means for KU is completely up in the air at this point but it could be a couple of different things. Here they are, laid out in neat and tidy fashion.
The ACC's desire to expand could be good news for the idea of KU joining the league that contains Duke and North Carolina. If the ACC is serious about adding Pitt and Syracuse, it means they're serious about sticking around. To do that, they're going to have to keep up with the other conferences looking to expand and whether that could very well mean adding schools like Texas and Kansas, among others.
The ACC's talks with Pitt and Syracuse could be the league bracing for a few of their own schools to get poached by other conferences. Florida State to the SEC, Georgia Tech and/or Maryland to the Big Ten. Each could happen. And if one or all did, then it would be up to the ACC to add teams quickly to ensure it's survival. Again, that would make adding teams such as Texas, Kansas and, perhaps even Missouri, very attractive options.
The ACC's talks with Pitt and Syracuse could mean that there is no interest from the Big Ten in adding those schools, which, in turn, could open the door for Kansas and Missouri to join the Big Ten should that league look to join in the expansion parade.
Pitt and Syracuse could be using these "talks" with the ACC to leverage a spot in the Big Ten. You know how it works... when a team, or perhaps a girl, is coveted by another conference or dude, it can make that team/girl more attractive to all the other dudes/conferences out there.
We'll be mostly about the game today but if anything big breaks, we'll try to update things here.