Pros and Cons of North\South ACC Division alignment.

Beamer_FisherYesterday seemed to be a big day on twitter for discussing ACC Divisional alignment. Let’s switch this team or that team, let’s realign the division into North and South. Well it’s not happening.

David Teel of the Daily Press wrote this piece in favor of realigning divisions, but with this disclaimer. If you don’t know Teel (@DavidTeelatDP ), he’s one of the very best and most well respected ACC journalists out there. His accuracy regarding the conference expansion rumors, were among the best of any writer.

“No matter how many times I ask, the answer never changes. No, the ACC is not considering divisional realignment in football. No, despite considerable fan and media buzz, the issue is a non-starter among decision makers.

Most recently, I asked commissioner John Swofford last month and the athletic directors from Virginia Tech and Virginia, Jim Weaver and Craig Littlepage, this week. Neither anticipates changing the current Atlantic-Coastal split, the core of which has been in place since the conference expanded to 12 schools for the 2005 season.”

As Teel said in his article, discussing the ACC realigning is futile exercise, but an interesting one none the less.

As I’ve said before I’m neutral on the topic myself. Certainly there are benefits to moving teams to a North\South divisions, but I see some disadvantages as well.

North\South Divisions could look like this. Let’s not get into exception cases like Miami in the North. To me that’s far too manufactured. Remember the Miami\FSU split and ACC Championship games in Florida? Manufactured and it was a disaster.


Boston College





Virginia Tech

 Wake Forest


North Carolina



Florida State

Georgia Tech


NC State


1) Georgia Tech and Florida State play each year. This is one game in the ACC that should be played more often and isn’t. This is a great game for both programs.

2) The FSU\Georgia Tech\Miami\Clemson series of games would draw a lot of national and regional interest.

3) FSU\Miami Georgia Tech\Clemson rivalries are maintained.

4) Tobacco rivalries UNC\Duke\NC State enhanced.

5) Louisville\Virginia Tech potentially could be potentially a great rivalry

6) Northern schools like BC, Pitt, Syracuse can gain foothold on Northeastern football by branding themselves together.

CONS – Yes there are cons

1) Possible loss of Georgia Tech\Virginia Tech rivalry. Since ACC expansion this has easily been one the ACC’s 5 best rivalries, and it is growing.

2) Northern schools lose some access to fertile southern recruiting grounds.

3) Virginia Tech – football wise is on an island. While the Hokies have fallen behind Clemson and FSU, they were for several years the ACC’s best program, and they still have the potential to consistently win 9+ games a year. Do you think the Hokies are excited with that schedule? Some schools get a better schedule, while a prominent football school gets a worse one.

4) Let’s be honest the Northern division doesn’t look all that interesting at the moment.

5) Geographical divisions are not a must. Missouri is in the SEC East. That’s further West than several SEC West teams. The Pac 12 isn’t a perfect North/South division either. Shouldn’t Alabama and Georgia be playing more often? It’s not like this is an uncommon practice

6) You don’t want to changes divisions every few years. You’ve just added Pitt and Syracuse, then Louisville, following expansion in the middle of the 2000s. You don’t know if Notre Dame joins in a few years, and you add a 16th team. You would be realigning again and probably with a pod system, because Notre Dame in North will not make fans of the southern schools happy.

In the end the ACC Schools seem against making any moves.

They are a couple of things I’d like to see which can work within the current framework without too much realigning if North\South divisions won’t be happening. Let teams  schedule each other OOC if they want. If Georgia Tech and FSU want to play so be it. If you are willing to play games in Europe why not this? As I’ve said before drop the frequency of the permanent cross-over partner to 2 out of every 3 years. You can still schedule Miami/FSU if you want OOC, and there is still tremendous meaning because of the upcoming playoffs.

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1 comment

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  1. Hokie Smash says:

    I think the ACC is getting it right by not realigning the divisions – 100% – and I think you nailed it in your post above.

    The only think that could make the current setup better is to:

    1.) Have Louisville as the cross-over opponent for Virginia Tech (the ACC is missing a big opportunity here).


    2.) Have Virginia as the cross-over opponent for Boston College.

    The ACC could build a great rivalry between Virginia Tech and Louisville – and BC and UVA could be a budding rivalry.

    Virginia Tech did not leave the Big East to come back to it (you are 100% right that the Hokies would be on an island). Surprisingly – for whatever reason – John Swofford said that a priority was to preserve the VT/BC rivalry (and thus the crossover opponent), which dates back to the Big East.

    And Jeff, you only included part of that article lol – he also said, “Regardless, if I’m Virginia or Virginia Tech, I fight such a split for all I’m worth.” This North South idea was Andrew O. Carter’s idea – it’s terrible.

    And the Commmonwealth of Virginia would fight that for all it’s worth – this would be a terrible idea – epically bad.

    Adam Gold might have a better idea: http://www.wralsportsfan.com/injecting-imbalance-and-inequity-into-acc-football/12518780/

    David Teel’s at the bottom of the article is the most radical because it would put the top three schools in one division – and ESPN would LOVE those matchups.

  1. Maybe the ACC should just do away with Divisions in football. » All Sports Discussion says:

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  2. Maybe the ACC should just do away with Divisions in football. | Sports Blog United says:

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