The state of North Carolina could be at stake if the Tar Heels decided to leave the ACC. Politically speaking, the North Carolina MSC is a little more literal with its criteria, and it brings together all the Division I football programs in the state. With the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights on board, East Carolina and Coastal Carolina also return to the battle to play in that corner of the East Coast and complete the conference. North Carolina remains the highest unnamed Notre Dame award among ACC schools in the latest phase of college realignment, and observers should not underestimate the power of the Tar Heels in all of this, according to Fortuna & Staples of THE ATHLETIC.
New Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany is seen with North Carolina coach Dean Smith and Kansas coach Roy Williams ahead of the 1991 Final Four semifinals. With all North Carolina college football teams competing in the same conference, in-state recruiting would become a fierce battle. Arguably, North Carolina would be one of the crown jewels in any realignment discussion. The Tar Heels have a long history of success in college football, and their presence would be a major draw for any conference looking to expand.
The ACC is no stranger to realignment, having added Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Notre Dame in recent years. If North Carolina were to leave, it would be a major blow to the conference. The Tar Heels have been a part of the ACC since 1953, and their departure would leave a huge void. Only time will tell if North Carolina will decide to leave the ACC.
But one thing is certain: if they do decide to go, it will have a major impact on college football as we know it.