CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish reported Saturday afternoon that the league could vote to accept the two schools as early as Sunday. On Saturday night the ACC announced it would hold a media teleconference at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The league did not specify what the teleconference was about, but the league's presidents are expected to formally vote to admit Pitt and Syracuse Sunday morning.
It's unknown if the schools could join the ACC next season.
Here’s the latest breakdown on what to expect among the six automatic qualifying conferences.Pittsburgh and Syracuse independently submitted letters of application to the ACC, a league source told CBSSports.com.
Florida State President Eric Barron told The Associated Press on Saturday before the Seminoles played No. 1 Oklahoma that the ACC was excited about adding to its "northern tier."
"Pittsburgh and Syracuse, who have applied, these are solid academic schools, and the ACC is a truly academic conference," Barron said. "Certainly great basketball teams, a good history of football.
"I'm sure consideration will be very fast. I'll be surprised if it's not [Sunday]."
Earlier, a Big East official told CBSSports.com: "There is no scenario where a president applies to a league and isn't admitted."
Ironically, Pittsburgh chancellor Mark Nordenberg is the chairman of the Big East's executive committee. A Big East official added: "It's sort of like the fox in the hen house."
An ACC official said its league has been contacted by 10 schools, but the official would not disclose what conferences those schools were from.
Also, at last week’s ACC presidents meeting in Greensboro, N.C., the league’s presidents “unanimously” voted to increase the ACC’s exit fee to $20 million. This takes affect immediately. The previous exit fee amount was $12 million to $15 million.The loss of Syracuse and Pittsburgh could be devastating to the Big East. Syracuse was a founding member and Pittsburgh has been with the league since 1982.
An ACC official also indicated Texas has "reached out" to the ACC, but any speculation that Texas is joining the ACC is "premature."
An ACC official also said there is no timeline on expansion for the league.
In July, ACC commissioner John Swofford talked about expansion with CBSSports.com.
"I don't think it's inevitable, doesn't mean it won't happen," Swofford said. "That [going to 16 teams] is not easy to do. It's a very sexy subject to write about. It's easy to write about it and make those predictions, but if they don't come true nobody remembers you made those predictions. I think in talking [to other BCS commissioners] -- all of us -- what we want to do is what's best for our conference. We had some very thorough [talks] in the past year because of last summer -- that weren't very public -- but they were very thorough. Our preference is to remain at 12 [schools], we like 12 as the number. We're not crazy about 14 or 16 [schools] because it begins to change a number of things tangibly such as scheduling and intangibly such as culture.
"But we want to remain nimble enough so if we want to look in that direction we'll be ready to do that in very short order. Twelve [teams] works. It's not to say 14 or 16 can't work, it can. I don't think [16 team conferences] is inevitable, it's possible."
A Big East official said it's "common knowledge" among league members that Pittsburgh wants to get its name out in expansion talks.
The Big East, trying to survive all the conference realignment scenarios, has reached out to Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State Baylor, said a Big 12 athletic director.
“Although I was obviously very disappointed to learn the news about the ACC’s being in discussions about membership with the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University, I continue to believe the Big East Conference is well positioned for the future and that the events of the past 24 hours will unify our membership," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement. "We have been working steadily to solidify and strengthen the Big East Conference and position us for our upcoming TV negotiations and I am confident that we will again emerge from this situation and remain strong."