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Next ACC Expansion Team Odds: West Coast Is Leading The Race

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 6 mins

Next ACC Expansion Team Odds: West Coast Is Leading The Race

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The proactive and powerful SEC and Big Ten conferences are expanding in the coming years, adding some of the biggest brands in college sports to their stables. 

The Big 12 swooped in and took advantage of questions surrounding the future of the Pac-12, gutting the West Coast conference by taking four of its teams starting in 2024. 

The last major conference, the ACC, hasn’t been poached and it hasn’t been aggressive in ensuring its vitality. It’s held pat. That may change. Discussions have begun about the future of the ACC, which may be starting to realize that in the current climate, it must either eat – or be eaten. 

Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has broken down the landscape. Here are his hypothetical college football odds as to which teams will be the newest members of the ACC.

Next ACC Expansion Team Odds

TeamOddsImplied Probability
South Florida+12007.7%
Washington State+15006.3%
Oregon State+15006.3%
The Field+60014.3%
No Expansion/Teams Leave+35022.2%

Odds are projected and do not reflect any odds that may be available at legal betting sites or betting apps. They will not add up to 100% most times because they are designed to simulate a sportsbook line.

*Note: Odds reflect that more than one team is likely to join at the same time

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Who Is On The ACC Expansion Candidates List? 

While some ACC schools, notably Florida State and Clemson, have openly wondered if leaving the league for the greener pastures of the Big Ten or SEC, the realization has started to set in that it may be very difficult, given how the conference constitution is written and the massive $120 million penalty of leaving before 2036. 

Expansion efforts have been discussed. Stanford and Cal, two of the remaining four Pac-12 teams yet to be poached by a rival conference, were on the ACC’s short list of expansion candidates. 

In order for the ACC to move forward, however, 75% of current programs must agree to discuss. Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, and NC State reportedly didn’t want to follow up. But the conference is reportedly going ahead with exploring the option, hoping to get enough schools on board when an official vote is due.  

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The two Bay Area teams weren’t enticing enough to make the long cross-country trips for all sports. There are two other Pac-12 teams that could be looking for a new home. Perhaps if four teams from the west were added, the expansion plan would become more feasible. 

Washington State and Oregon State were left in the cold when rivals Washington and Oregon agreed to join the Big Ten. Each team remains an outlier in the national collegiate landscape. 

Going to the ACC would add massive travel mileage to its student-athletes, but if the alternative is to drop out of a power conference, this might be the only way left to remain relevant. 

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It’s possible expansion is still on the table in the ACC, but the Pac-12 teams are simply too far away. What about programs located closer to the conference base? 

SMU was reportedly in the mix to be one of the new additions to the Big 12, but that didn’t happen. It’s considered a strong candidate to be part of a rebuilt Pac-12 – if that occurs. 

Meanwhile, the school is doing a $100 million renovation to its football stadium. It’s expressed interest in joining a “big boy” conference. Adding SMU gets the ACC in Texas, and a big market in Dallas. 

South Florida and Memphis make even more sense from a geographic standpoint. Neither is a football powerhouse at the moment, but Memphis brings a solid basketball program and each team resides in a market that could benefit the ACC. Each hinted at an interest in joining the Big 12 during its expansion flurry. 

Given the stagnant nature of the ACC, it’s possible it devolves into a Pac-12 level meltdown and teams leave, regardless of the cost. 

Through third parties, the Big Ten has reportedly reached out to officials from Clemson and Florida State about a possible connection. Calls have been made, and if the ACC doesn’t get proactive, it may suffer a similar fate to the Pac-12. 

At the current rate of the school presidents, this might happen before the ACC gets serious. 

The Field is led by other mid-major programs who have shown promise, interest or currently are in a good spot from a football perspective and hope to parlay it into next-level status. 

That includes Tulane, Rice and South Florida of the American Athletic Conference, plus Big East targets such as Connecticut and Syracuse

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.