There has not been much over the years that the Maryland Terrapins and Duke Blue Devils have been able to agree on. They have engaged in some epic battles over the last decade or so on the hardwood. However, chalk up ACC expansion as one of those things they are in one accord on. They were on the forefront with Pitt and Syracuse being added to the league and they are very much wanting to be proactive with conference expansion to 16 schools. With Pittsburgh and Syracuse becoming the 13th and 14th school in the ACC, there has been talk of adding 2 more teams to the ACC fold but who or when will be the question. I have heard talk and rumors of Connecticut, Rutgers, Notre Dame, and Texas as the front runners with each having their own pros and cons.
Let me start out by saying that conference expansion is based on greed and the money. The other issues stated by schools are secondary. With that being said, as a Maryland fan, I am very happy the Terps have been aggressive about making sure the ACC stays strong. The Pittsburgh and Syracuse additions add huge markets to the ACC’s reach. Pitt and Maryland have not had much in terms of a rivalry but they did put on quite the entertaining show last year at the Garden during the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer. Syracuse and Maryland have always seemed to have different but similar programs when it comes to hoops. Jim Boeheim and Gary Williams each became icons at their own schools winning national titles and done things the right way and not had their team entrenched in scandal.
As for who the ACC should add as number 15 and 16, I think the best scenario in terms of money and strengthening the league specifically in football are Texas and Notre Dame. Both have strong history when it comes to the gridiron. However both have their issues. The Longhorns are so big in Texas that they have their own network and the ACC holds pretty strongly to revenue sharing amongst all the member schools. As for Notre Dame, they have all their games on NBC and are a football independent which the Irish value very strongly. It allows them to play Michigan, Michigan State, Boston College, USC, and a host of other schools without having to have a conference affiliation. With the conferences seeming to expand to super conferences, now might be the time for the Irish to jump ship to the ACC. It will be interesting to see how it works out.
As for the other two schools mentioned previously (UConn and Rutgers), both would add a stronger footing in the Northeast and it seems the Terps and Huskies have a minor rivalry already stemming back to the Rudy Gay signing and going all the way up the present time with the Terps plucking current head football coach Randy Edsall from Storrs.
Whatever happens next should be quite interesting to see when it comes to conference expansion.