The ACC hasn’t expressed a current interest in adding another team, but should they think about UConn if the Huskies leave the American Athletic Conference?
As the 2016-17 academic and sport year continues, the Atlantic Coast Conference sits as a 15 team league in many sports – while sitting with 14 teams in sports like football and even fewer in some smaller sports. Right now, the ACC seems happy with where they are and the number of members they have.
Of course, as evident by the recent amount of college conference expansion, you never know when one more school could crash the party. One such case could be the Connecticut Huskies.
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According to Jon Rothstein from CBS Sports and FanRagSports.com, the Huskies have started to look for a way to leave their current home, the American Athletic Conference:
UConn has consistently looked into joining the Big East as a basketball only member as long as it could find another home for its football program. Other sources have stated that members of the Big East currently like the league’s double round-robin format in basketball where everyone plays each other twice and adding an 11th team could change that.
If the Huskies can’t find a way to join old Big East foes like Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova and others in the new incarnation of that league, the most likely destination for the league would be to look at a Power Five conference that can house all their programs – with the ACC leading the way.
On the pros side of such a move, UConn would bring a rich tradition of men’s basketball to the ACC – which has made it clear that is their first priority when it comes to the conference. In addition, the women’s basketball team – maybe the greatest in the history of the college game – would enhance play in the league and give Florida State some actual competition.
The Huskies would also add a presence in many of the ACC’s olympic sports – in some cases, becoming the 16th member and eliminating the odd number standings that have plagued the conference since Notre Dame joined in almost all sports but football several years ago.
Of course, the big negative would be how the football program would shape the ACC in that sport. Since the Fighting Irish aren’t a full time member, the league’s football world has a comfortable 14 teams broken into two nice, even seven team divisions. Adding the Huskies would throw a gigantic money wrench into that, causing scheduling chaos.
One way around that would be doing the same thing the ACC did with Notre Dame and accepting UConn in every sport but football. The Huskies would then become an independent team, joining Notre Dame, Army, BYU and UMass. The Huskies were an independent team from 2000 to 2003 when they transitioned from what is now FCS to what is now FBS.
For all we know, the rumors could be just that and the Huskies could be staying put in their current home and the ACC could never add another team to their group of schools. However, it would be interesting to see just how much interest both sides would have in an eventual merger.