Conference realignment might be mostly done at the Power 5 level following the additions of Cal, Stanford and SMU to the ACC, but don’t expect realignment as a whole to stop there. Other leagues are still vetting potential expansion targets.
There are still two Pac-12 schools without a home, while other non-Power 5 leagues look to potentially scoop up new members. So movement could continue in the coming days and weeks.
According to a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Army has become a top expansion target of the AAC following a call with the league’s presidents and athletics directors this morning. Thamel notes that commissioner Mike Aresco has begun informally exploring Army as an expansion candidate.
The addition would be football only, similar to Navy‘s membership.
Army is currently an independent and has been so since 2005. The program was previously a member of Conference USA from 1998-2004, but has maintained its independence otherwise.
The AAC currently has 14 football members but will lose SMU to the ACC after the 2023 season, leaving a slot to fill for a potential expansion target like Army.
The ACC officially welcomes its new members
All three schools will join the ACC in 2024, with SMU coming on board July 1, 2024 and Stanford and Cal joining Aug. 2, 2024.
They will be full members with full voting participation.
“We are thrilled to welcome three world-class institutions to the ACC, and we look forward to having them compete as part of our amazing league,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement. “Throughout the evaluation process, the ACC Board of Directors, led by President [James] Ryan, was deliberate in prioritizing the best possible athletic and academic experience for our student-athletes and in ensuring that the three universities would strengthen the league in all possible ways. Cal, SMU and Stanford will be terrific members of the ACC and we are proud to welcome their student-athletes, coaches, staff and entire campus community, alumni and fans.”
The ACC needed 12 “yes” votes in order to expand. On Friday morning, it got them.