College Football: Realignment conversations suggest a tipping point

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

As someone who chases down every bit of new information about college football realignment, the latest from Ross Dellenger is always appreciated. Dellenger not only goes in-depth with his reporting, but it also appears he has more solid sources than anyone else.

No one, including the conference participants yet know what will come next or when. But based on Dellenger’s most recent reporting this college football offseason could include forward action by one conference and a possible tipping point being reached by another.

In late April, Dennis Dodd of CBS provided a partial Pac-12 update from a statement made by San Diego State Athletic Director, JD Wicker.

"One or the other [B12, P12] is going to happen. We’re excited for the opportunity, and we’ve done a lot of work to prepare for that."

Wicker does not know when a move will happen, but based on the Aztecs’ membership in the Mountain West, there is a financial incentive to take action before July. While the Big 12 is also interested in San Diego State, adding the southern California market is a must for the Pac-12. The Pac has been waiting for progress on a new media deal, but waiting to add SDSU and possibly also SMU no longer seems wise.

Perhaps the only reason the Big 12 has not gobbled up the two programs is that it wants the Pac’s two Arizona schools, along with Colorado and Utah.

College Football and ACC Grant of Rights

On the other side geographically of the college football world, a group of ACC teams might be close to finding a way to escape the ACC’s current grant of rights deal.

The ACC grant of rights deal that currently binds the 14 teams for another dozen or so years, may not be invulnerable. According to Dellenger, seven ACC schools want major changes, including relief from the grant of rights shackle, if they choose to exit. Seven schools can possibly escape the grant of rights hold, but starting a new conference means a new media deal negotiation and a new conference would likely need to be a minimum of 8-10 teams. The tipping point action might be eight ACC schools walking away from the ACC to form a new league.

The main heartburn for Florida State and to an extent Clemson is media money. More recent media deals for other conferences are bringing in more money than the current ACC deal. Florida State is especially disturbed that within a season or two UCF, as part of the Big 12, will be raking in more media dollars than FSU.

The seven season Gene Stallings era had some great players.. dark. Next

A simpler approach for FSU and Clemson is to pay the hefty ACC exit fee and join the SEC. Not all of the disgruntled seven will find that viable. Even for the Noles and the Tigers, the remaining ACC would still hold the grant of rights to their home games. A withering ACC might be forced to give in on the grant of rights, hoping to reduce the risk of the conference going away.