ACC clears way to add Stanford, Cal, SMU, providing escape from sinking Pac-12 for Bay Area schools
CHARLOTTE NC. (Associated Press)--The Atlantic Coast Conference has cleared the way for Stanford, California and SMU to join the league, two people with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Friday, providing a landing spot for two more teams from the disintegrating Pac-12.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement was still being prepared. The conference’s university presidents and chancellors met Friday morning and voted to extend invitations to the three schools.
The additions make the ACC the latest power conference to expand its membership and footprint westward. Starting in August 2024, the league with Tobacco Road roots in North Carolina will increase its number of football schools to 17 and 18 in most other sports, with Notre Dame remaining a football independent.
Notre Dame is currently the westernmost ACC school in South Bend, Indiana, with Louisville the farthest west among football members.
But now, like the Big Ten, the ACC will be a cross-country conference. The ACC will span from Boston in the Northeast to Miami in South Florida, out to Dallas in the heart of the Southwest and up to the Northern California, where Stanford and Cal reside.