Just relax about the ACC’s future schedule. It’s going to be ok.

The ACC’s new schedule was released Friday. I would say it was met with mixed reviews. Boston College fans seemed to be the most pleased about the new schedules, and why not with the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, BC finally has true regional partners. Others though lamented the loss of traditional home and home annual basketball games between NC State\North Carolina and Maryland\Duke among others. Caulton Tudor of the Raleigh News and Observer wrote the ACC doesn’t care about fans again.

I couldn’t disagree more, and I want to tell those fans it’s not the end of the ACC rivalry world. On one point I do agree with Tudor. The insatiable quest for TV markets which is the driving force in expansion is causing all this scheduling upheaval. That’s not the fault of the ACC, they are just trying remain a viable conference. That said let’s get back to scheduling.

I haven’t always agreed with the decisions the ACC made. I never liked the split of FSU and Miami into opposite division and the resulting ACCCG being played in Florida. The ACC gambled on the Noles and Canes being elite programs, and lost. It’s always a risk to bank on trying secure completive balance when creating divisions because you never know good teams will be 5 year later. The ACCCG became a national punch line due to poorly attended championships games. In this case though, I don’t have a big problem with the scheduling.

Shouldn’t Boston College be afforded some natural rivals again with the addition of Syracuse and Pitt? In basketball their cross-over partner will be Syracuse. That’s also good for Orangeman to already have BC as their partner. It will ease their introduction to the conference. Maryland and Pitt being partners creates a nice border war as well. You think the ACC didn’t care about traditional rivalries, but they actually did…

Rather than split the ACC into North\South division which, I think would have been Ok, they sent Pitt to the Coastal and Syracuse to the Atlantic. This maintained budding rivalries since conference expansion. Georgia Tech\Virginia Tech is a new rivalry that comes to mind. Clemson\NC State has been played every year since 1971, and that would have been threatened with North\South divisions.

Is it perfect? No. I’ve always thought Florida State\Georgia Tech and Clemson\Virginia Tech should play more often in football. Losing the NC State\UNC home and home basketball games are also drawback, but consider school’s rivalry there remains in tact, because NC State and UNC will still play each other every year in football and they will play each other 4 times in 3 years. Yes 2 basketball games get lost, but because the ACC correctly decided to include all 14 teams in the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments there are still opportunities to play there.

 No question expansion has forced some difficult decisions, but had the ACC not expanded the conference probably would have got picked apart. NC State playing North Carolina? How about NC State playing Ole Miss. Maryland not playing Duke? Maryland playing Northwestern, now that’s a traditional rivalry game.

I think the fans were being considered a lot more than is being given credit for.

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