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Utah Puts Short-lived ACC Rumors to Rest Before Big 12 Debut

Utah Utes vs Notre Dame in 2010
© Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

In this new era of college football, it seems almost impossible to escape conference realignment rumors. The latest rumor of the University of Utah being in talks to join the Atlantic Coast Conference gained traction over Memorial Day weekend but was quickly shut down by the Utah Athletics department.

Before even kicking off their inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference, Utah has denied any rumors of a wandering eye toward the ACC.

Utah to the ACC Rumors Swirl

The rumor came somewhat out of nowhere and puzzled fans not only in Utah but all over the country. With the Big 12 move being so recent, people could not believe the school would already be looking elsewhere before even getting started. Besides just beginning in a new league, it is even more puzzling due to the fact that the Utes are considered to be a favorite to win the Big 12 in their first season of play.

This surprising addition to the rumor mill came from a reporter named Dick Weiss, who tweeted that there was “discussion about Utah possibly moving to the ACC despite its recent move to the Big 12.” Weiss listed TV and network agreement fits as the reason for such discussion.

Utah Athletics Shuts Down ACC Rumors

After brief panic and confusion from fans, Utah came out and said that the school has no plans of leaving the Big 12, and reassured their commitment to the conference. Since Utah’s joining the Big 12 was announced in August 2023, the program has shown nothing but excitement about their future in their new league, and they were not happy to hear about the recent drama caused by the ACC rumors.

A statement was given to insider Brett McMurphy from Utah Athletics stated, “We are proud to be entering into membership in the Big 12 Conference in the coming months & excited to join our new colleagues and member institutions.”

In the same statement, Utah described the rumor as “fabricated” and “irresponsible.”

While the school might have shut down the realignment rumors for now, this will not be the end of the realignment rumor mill for Utah or any other school for that matter. This area of college football makes it difficult to navigate truth from speculation, and fans should be patient when things like this come out, as the world of college athletics goes through this major shift.


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