Current Members: Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida
Targets: South Florida, Central Florida, Houston, Rice, Tulane, Memphis, Louisville, East Carolina, Marshall, Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisiana Lafayette, North Texas, Troy, Florida Atlantic, Florida International
Overview: No doubt the predecessor to the Super Conference, the SEC expanded to 12 teams in 1991. In 1992 they were the first Division 1 football conference to be given permission by the NCAA to hold a conference championship game. This lucrative endeavor ultimately led to the expansion of the ACC and Super Conference expansion currently under way. The conference holds one of the strongest network deals in the NCAA and has not made any mention of creating its own network. The SEC is generally considered to be the strongest BCS conference with six wins in all six appearances since the inception of the BCS in 1998.
Because of its strength, the conference does not want to expand. It will only do so in response to the formation of other Super Conferences. Since all signs indicated that the Big Teen, Pac 16 and super MWC will be a reality soon, the SEC has little choice. This leads to the question of who will be selected. With Atlanta as its biggest home market, the SEC has a strong national presence on network TV. Their goal would be increasing the strength of the conference to ensure dominance on the field rather than securing markets for a conference owned network.
Result: In their quest to build the ultimate football conference, the SEC swipes Florida State and Miami from the ACC. Both are added to the East division while rising Conference USA programs Houston and Memphis are added to the West. While neither program is a major player at the moment, their addition forces both programs to adapt to stronger regional opponents and increases their recruiting ability. The top-to-bottom competitiveness of the conference remains nearly the same with an increased number of teams with BCS Championship Game experience.
-East: Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Miami, Florida State
-West: Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Houston, Memphis
Effects: This is another step in the dismantling of C-USA, which is often a target during expansion periods. The larger effect is on the health of ACC after losing both of its Florida programs.
Current Members: Boston College, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami
Targets: Connecticut, Syracuse, West Virginia, South Florida, Central Florida, East Carolina, Marshall, Temple, Troy, Florida Atlantic, Florida International
Overview: Only two members of the ACC have ever played in a BCS Championship Game - Florida State and Miami (while a Big East member). Both are likely to be poached by the SEC. The ACC should be familiar with dismantling a conference - acquiring Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami from the Big East devastated that conference a few years back.
Now that it has lost two of its marquee programs, the ACC needs to rebuild. Being in the heart of the Big East, many of those schools make the most sense. Without its own network, the ACC relies on a grand footprint. Recouping the Florida market will be vital, as will adding other strong markets like New York. Cutting costs and building rivalries will help the conference survive, and possibly thrive, in the new era.
Result: To keep its Florida presence, the ACC adds South Florida and Central Florida. Although not as strong as the lost teams, South Florida is growing popularity and reputation; Central Florida is not far behind.
New markets and northern rivals are brought in via UConn and Syracuse. Both give some access to the New York market and provide closer travel for Boston College.
The heart of the conference is strengthened by the addition of a powerful West Virgina program. WV has been the dominant team in the Big East since losing Miami and Virginia Tech. Along with them comes Marshall, who has been on the rise. Both will be competitive out of the gate.
The Atlantic and Coastal divisions are no more. In light of their expansion and new geographic make up, the ACC is now divided into a north/south structure.
-North: Boston College, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Connecticut, Syracuse, West Virginia, Marshall
-South: Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, South Florida, Central Florida
Effects: This move (combined with the Big Teen's actions) leaves Louisville and Cincinnati as the only remaining football schools in the Big East; a condition that will not last.
Syracuse adds a fifth lacrosse program to the conference. Like the current four, Syracuse is a perennial powerhouse. Although it is the smallest conference in NCAA lacrosse, the expanded ACC would hold five of the eight teams to win a national championship since its inception in 1971.