The latest SEC football expansion news and rumors center on four ACC schools

College football realignment never settles. It swirls with some expansion news and plenty of speculation. The latest SEC football expansion stories highlight four ACC teams.
Michael Chang/GettyImages

At the recent SEC meetings, Greg Sankey said little about future conference expansion. During the spring, Sankey devoted expansion comments to his belief the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament should expand.

When the SEC met at Miramar Beach, Greg Sankey said, "We respect that there are agreements and situations that prevent a lot of movement, so our focus has been on our 16." As others have pointed out, Sankey's comment does not indicate a lack of expansion interest from the SEC. Sankey added, "But I pay attention."

The SEC can and will be choosy about its next expansion move. As it did with Texas and Oklahoma, the SEC will wait for another conference to fight its way through a split. That current conference is the ACC. Much has been written about the efforts of Florida State and Clemson to leave the ACC.

The two schools are not satisfied with ACC payouts being well below those of the SEC and the Big Ten. Many college football experts are confident the Seminoles and the Tigers will exit the ACC. No one knows when. Much speculation has centered on both schools moving to the SEC. As major college football brands, the two schools are a good fit for the SEC.

Recent rumors include the scheduled Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida State game in 2025 as an SEC vs. Big Ten matchup. Fueling that rumor are others that claim North Carolina, and perhaps also Virginia have a better chance of getting the votes of SEC schools than do FSU and Clemson. Unofficially, but publicly, Florida has said it would not fight against the SEC adding FSU. South Carolina might be less open-minded about adding Clemson.

Moving beyond rumor, Blake Toppmeyer explained why SEC schools might prefer North Carolina over FSU and Clemson, "I think North Carolina would most appeal to the SEC. A big brand and UNC would expand the footprint into bordering terrain. The Tar Heels would deliver the growing Charlotte market, where the SEC Network is based."

Toppmeyer also listed Virginia as a possibility allowing the SEC to expand its footprint. Counter to Toppmeyer's opinion, it is hard to see SEC schools willing to share equal revenue with Virginia, given the school does not possess a top football brand. Financially, Clemson and FSU make much more sense.