The Pac-12’s steady march toward its death appears to be nearing an end, with the Atlantic Coast Conference presidents and chancellors voting Friday morning to add Stanford, UC Berkeley and Southern Methodist in 2024.
ESPN was the first to report the vote, with the Associated Press and others soon confirming the decision. Stanford, Cal and SMU leaders are expected to soon announce they are accepting the invitations.
Last year, UCLA and USC shocked the college sports landscape by announcing their move to the Big Ten. The Times reported Pac-12 university presidents and chancellors conflicted over how to move forward, spurning potential media rights deals with ESPN and Apple.
Tiring of the instability that continued for a year, Colorado defected to the Big 12 in July. Washington and Oregon joined the Big Ten in August, receiving smaller television revenue shares than the Bruins and Trojans, and Arizona, Arizona State and Utah jumped to the Big 12 the next day.
While Washington State and Oregon State denounced the defections and pledged to help the Pac-12 rebuild, it is now more likely the two schools will join the nearby Mountain West Conference, dropping out of the more lucrative Power Five level.
Notre Dame, which has a partnership in the ACC while remaining independent in football, reportedly campaigned to get Stanford and Cal into the conference, but Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and North Carolina State objected to expansion. After about a month of debate and promises the new schools would take less of an enhanced revenue pool ESPN would provide, ESPN reported N.C. State flipped and provided the ninth vote required to invite the schools to the conference.
SMU is expected to join the ACC for nine years with no broadcast media revenue, ESPN reported, while Cal and Stanford were expected to receive 30% shares of ACC media rights payouts. The Mustangs would still receive a share of the league’s College Football Playoff revenue.
Florida State has been especially vocal opposing expansion and has threatened to leave the ACC, signaling the seismic shifts that began two years ago when Texas and Oklahoma agreed to leave the Big 12 to join the SEC may not be over.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Check back soon for updates on this developing story.