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The ACC is in early stages of exploring the idea of adding Stanford and Cal as league members, two league sources confirmed to The Athletic. The sources stressed that they are in an information-gathering stage and that they couldn’t predict where it would end up.

ACC athletic directors, as well as the league’s presidents, are scheduled to meet in the next 24 hours.

As of now, it is not yet clear how the potential additions would work or what their share of ACC revenue would be. The league currently splits its revenue equally among all members. Florida State and Clemson have been among those asking for an unequal revenue model, believing that they bring in more value and deserve more than their peers.

Two weeks ago, after Colorado left the Pac-12 for the Big 12, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips told ESPN that he was open to expansion. 

Last week, once Oregon and Washington bolted Friday from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten, the ACC and Pac-12 had discussions about five or seven of the Pac-12’s remaining schools joining the ACC, according to two people briefed on the leagues’ discussions. A meeting was scheduled Friday but never took place after Arizona, Arizona State and Utah decided to leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12.

No offers were made, two league sources said.

Though there are some within the ACC that are open to exploring Stanford and Cal as potential additions, others don’t think the two schools would bring enough value to the league to make it work. Even if they were to come in with reduced shares, is that enough to offset the increased travel costs for all? These are questions that would need to be answered.

Only Oregon State and Washington State remain in the Pac-12 with the Cardinal and Bears after the Pac-12 exodus. USC and UCLA announced their moves to the Big Ten last year.

Would this make sense for Stanford and Cal?

The top priority for the Bay Area schools would of course be to remain in a “power” conference, especially for football, so it makes sense to look into this again, as the sides have done before. The Big 12 has indicated it doesn’t have plans to add anyone else, so the ACC looks like the last viable power-conference option. It’s also a conference with several private and high-academic schools, and presidents make these decisions in the end. If there’s any possibility of joining an ACC that can offer much more TV revenue and College Football Playoff payouts than a Group of 5 league, even perhaps at a discount, it’s worth considering.

The next steps in realignment revolve around Stanford and Cal right now. The American Athletic Conference and Mountain West would be interested. Perhaps Stanford and Cal could put their non-football sports in the West Coast Conference to save on travel. Again, this is all very preliminary and about gathering information and options. — Vannini

What about for the ACC?

It depends, mostly on the money. Some industry sources have wondered if ESPN would chip in some more money for late-night football inventory for the Pac-4 schools in the ACC or AAC, as the network has very little West Coast presence now. But, of course, it wasn’t interested in paying much for the Pac-12 in the first place. Anything that dilutes the payout of current ACC schools feels like a likely no, especially with Florida State and others clamoring for more money from the conference.

If you’re the ACC and think you might be on the verge of losing FSU and some other schools if they can break the grant of rights, maybe it’s worth it for the sake of numbers. But that’s all a stretch. It’s hard to see many reasons this would work for the ACC if there isn’t any more money in it. — Vannini

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