ACC will need a 16th down the road. That is the title of a commentary (Luke DeCock - The Raleigh News and Observer, (Thurs., 9/13/2012). Also, printed in http://WWW.THESTATE.COM
, Columbia, SC).
Basically, it implies #16 for the ACC will indeed be sought in the near future. Suggested top candidate: Vanderbilt from the SEC. Also obvious and prominent: Rutgers. Also mentioned, though noting it is a less of a fit, is UCONN, who was being considered when Pitt & Syracuse were added.
The crown jewel of Swofford's expansion legacy --- "first he lands the Irish, then he raids the SEC."
Here's MY reality check on this particular question:
(a) All of the ACC additions have come from the BIG EAST -- including Notre Dame without full football.
(b) The SEC nor the B1G did not pursue any of the all-sports additions from the BE; and the B1G certainly would not have accepted ND w/o full fb.
(c) Better focus on Rutgers for eventual #16. While the SEC has zero exit fees, Vandy gets solid and lofty revenue in the SEC. As the lone selective, private school in the SEC, certainly Vandy struggles with SEC fb. But the SEC brings in very good crowds to Nashville, and Vandy would not want to give that up. Plus, if Vandy left, nearby games with schools such as Kentucky, Ole Miss, Georgia, and particularly Tennessee could be dropped. While the ACC would provide Vandy with more "like-minded" schools and an opportunity for perhaps more fb wins, Vandy has always maintained they are happy in the SEC.
(d) Notre Dame wanted to escape from the Big East association; and the ACC was perceptually viewed as old BCS #5 in the conference ranking order; the 2/3 marriage they mutually view shall meet both needs. From what ND has conveyed on this, they have no intention of being a full fb member. We'll see in years down the road.
(e) Imposing, at the same time on all members, a 50 million+ exit fee doesn't sound like complete confidence in future stability.
Could the ACC try to do some switch with the SEC such as exchange FSU for Vandy and then the ACC adds Rutgers as well? That would involve Vandy agreeing, FSU agreeing, near all SEC schools agreeing including those that said no earlier to more in-footprint additions; the ACC schools agreeing, etc. If FSU would leave, what does a school such as Clemson think? In addition to FSU, Maryland also voted against the exit fee (ummh, had Maryland had prior talk among the B1G, SEC, or B12, or they saw the fee as ridiculous as well?)
The ACC supporting press and some conference member spokepersons appear to be acting as if this is the great expansion deal of the era. In reality, they caved to ND without fb membership, though a promise of 5 rotating games each season. I expect Swofford certainly got that in writing and notarized, unlike what happened in the BE during the Tranghese period.
So, the ACC just took more from the Big East and roles each carried from their prior conference. And no doubt, they'll go back to it (BE) when #16 is sought, whenever that day may come.