UNC could be biggest ACC target in conference realignment

Conference realignment continues to be a popular target surrounding big college athletics going into Summer 2024 as the Big Ten and SEC are set to debut their new conferences for the first time beginning with football season.

The landscape of college athletics has changed drastically the past few years and two “power two” conferences have seemingly formed. While the ACC has added SMU, Stanford, and Cal, there are still questions regarding revenue with Clemson and Florida State both threatening to leave.

And now, there are rumblings that North Carolina could eventually be on its way out as well.

The Tampa Bay Times wrote on the recent developments with the UNC Board of Trustees potentially pushing for a move. The newspaper suggested that the Tar Heels could be the big target for both the Big Ten and SEC moving forward:

Though FSU and Clemson are the ACC’s football powers, the Tar Heels might be a bigger target for the Big Ten and/or SEC. North Carolina has premier academics and basketball. The state is the third-fastest growing in the country, ranks ninth in total population and doesn’t have a presence from either of the Power Two (yet).

If North Carolina is seriously considering an exit, the school’s tactics have been relatively quiet. The Tampa Bay Times requested the contracts of any legal firms the school has used to explore conference realignment. The school said last week it had “no existing or responsive University records subject to disclosure” under the state’s public records law. UNC hasn’t clarified if that means the school hasn’t hired any outside attorneys or if its contracts are shielded from disclosure.

This isn’t shocking news and it isn’t the first time UNC has been called the top target in the conference.

The general thought right now is that UNC does have a lot to offer to either the SEC or Big Ten moving forward. The two conferences could make a push to land the Tar Heels and it could benefit the program revenue-wise.

This isn’t a story that is going away any time soon.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire