Vote: The future of the ACC

With Big 12 and SEC spring meetings under way this week, the conference realignment speculation is bound to continue. It’s important to remember, though, that there are several key figures in the Big 12 who aren’t quite ready to jump into expansion.

The only thing we know for certain right now is that both Florida State and Clemson have made it clear that should another conference come calling, they’d be willing to listen. The grass isn’t always greener, though. Beano Cook said on the latest ESPNU college football podcast that Clemson would “make a disastrous move” should it decide to leave the ACC.

It’s obviously in the best interest of the conference for the league to stay intact, but every school has to make its own decisions.

Prediction: The ACC will keep its current membership and stay content to add Syracuse and Pittsburgh as early as 2013. The biggest changes to the league will come in the postseason, where commissioner John Swofford has a chance to boost the ACC’s bowl tie-ins. The ACC with ditch the Big East and find a way to partner with Notre Dame or a conference that will be more appealing to fans and bring the conference more revenue.

That’s just a guess, plain and simple.

Everyone seems to be forgetting that it now costs ACC schools between $20-25 million to leave the conference. Aren’t Florida State’s financial woes one of the main reasons fans are ready to bolt?

Florida State president Eric Barron has already said he has no idea where that money would come from. Other factors, such as the logistics and expense of travel – and the importance of academics to the ACC can’t be understated – also have to be considered. Factor in the competition – and that either school would have an easier road to the national title in the ACC than it would in the Big 12 or SEC, and it seems like a no-brainer to stay. When it’s all on paper – as Barron has already put it – the cons appear to outweigh the pros of leaving the ACC.

I’m curious to see what you think the future of the ACC will be. Do you really believe Florida State and Clemson, two of the ACC’s premier programs, would leave the conference? Do you think they should? What's in store for the ACC? Cast your votes now.