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Next SEC Expansion Team Odds: UNC, FSU, Clemson Favorites

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 6 mins

Next SEC Expansion Team Odds: UNC, FSU, Clemson Favorites

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When the SEC added Texas and Oklahoma, the Big Ten responded by adding USC and UCLA. And so began a tidal wave of college conference realignment, one that made megaconferences bigger and stronger, swallowing up everyone else in the chase for TV revenue. 

Top athletic programs not in the SEC or Big Ten – in football, chiefly, but in all sports – see the estimated $100 million each SEC school will get in TV rights revenue by 2024, the first year the Longhorns and Sooners officially join the conference. 

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said conference expansion past its current 16 teams is not at the forefront of any conversations. But other schools would love to get in, and more moves expected by the Big Ten soon. The SEC may have to push to 18 or even 20 teams by the end of the decade. 

The lists of who wants in, and who gets in, aren’t the same. 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 SEC – someday. 

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SEC Expansion Next Team Odds

TeamOddsImplied Probability
Florida State+12544%
North Carolina+45018.2%
Virginia Tech+80016.7%
Oklahoma State+85010.5%
The Field+10009.1%

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

SEC Expansion Odds: Which Teams Might Join Next?

The Pac-12 was picked apart by the Big Ten (Oregon, Washington, USC, UCLA), Big 12 (Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah) and ACC (Cal, Stanford). There's nobody left out west worth considering. 

But TV revenue has been the catalyst for the conference musical chairs, and it’s pushing the latest moves by members of the ACC. Half of the conference’s teams have reportedly been digging into their own “grant of rights” agreement to see if they can break contracts and seek greener pastures. 

Florida State and Clemson have led the charge. While a meeting last May among ACC schools provided positive reactions, credible rumors suggest the Seminoles and Tigers, as well as North Carolina, N.C. State, Miami (Paul Finebaum's pick to join the SEC over Florida State), Virginia and Virginia Tech, plan to keep their options open. 

The current ACC contract runs through 2036, and breaking the deal could mean fines of up to $500 million. That sounds massive, but if the SEC is offering close to $100 million annually, the math works to leave if a spot presents itself. 

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Florida State and Clemson have football programs that would be beneficial to the SEC brand. Each geographic region has an SEC stalwart nearby, with Florida and South Carolina. 

Florida State, in particular, is our top pick to bolt for the SEC. The Seminoles appear to be back under coach Mike Norvell, having posted their first 10-win season since 2016 last year. The 'Noles have the seventh-best odds to win it all this year, according to college football futures odds at FanDuel.

One possible hold up? Roughly a decade ago, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina made a gentlemen’s agreement not to allow any in-state expansion teams. FSU and Clemson, as well as Georgia Tech of the ACC, might find it tougher than expected to join. 

Still, money talks, and if FSU and Clemson best fit the bill, they’ll get the invitations. But it does open up the possibility of other schools getting the nod instead. 

North Carolina may have the best all-around athletic programs of the bunch. That, and a relatively high academic standing, may push the Tar Heels more toward the Big Ten, if relocation occurs. 

N.C. State, Virginia Tech and Virginia open up the SEC to new markets. Both Virginia schools have been linked to possible Big Ten expansion. The Wolfpack may have the best shot, especially if UNC goes to the Big Ten someday. 

Oklahoma State is the most-likely team from the Big 12 which could join the SEC, though the Big 12 has been aggressive in building the third-biggest conference. It's unlikely they allow the SEC to poach more teams after losing Missouri and Texas A&M to that league in recent years, plus with Texas and Oklahoma bolting in the near future. The Cowboys should be at the center of the Big 12's future plans.

Rumors (not overly credible) say the SEC, already kings of both football and baseball, may look at basketball powerhouse schools to up the bar there. Kansas and Duke would be huge conference. UNC doubles up in making sense from his angle. KU adds a natural rivalry for Missouri. Virginia Tech and West Virginia work from football and geographical standpoints. 

The Field includes other Big 12 teams and a few from the ACC that would certainly make the move if there was SEC interest, including Texas Tech and Louisville, even Notre Dame

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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.