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Dec
21
2013

Maybe the ACC should just do away with Divisions in football.

ClemsonVT

There are legitimate whispers that the ACC is considering realigning divisions. The big rage is creating a North/South Divisions. As I said back in June, this isn’t a slam dunk good idea.   There are issues with North/South Divisions. There are issues with the current alignments. With 14 teams and Notre Dame filling in 4-6 games with the ACC there are going to problems with any divisional setup with a league this big.

The biggest complaints seems  to be what?

To me the ones that always come up are…

1) We don’t play the teams closest to us.

How do you easily fix attendance at games? Make it an easier trip for road fans. Florida State has a huge alumni base in Atlanta, why aren’t they playing at Georgia Tech more often? Wake Forest \UNC and NC State\Duke type could easily improve attendance in all those stadiums.

2) We don’t play many teams in our conference often enough.

This makes rivalries very difficult to grow. Again Georgia Tech and FSU is an obvious example. This was a budding rivalry in the last 90s and early 2000s. The 2008-09 games were exciting great games. Even the 2012 ACC Championship game between them was close.

How do you build this rivalry when they play so rarely? UNC plays at Clemson in 2014, then plays again 5 years later in Chapel Hill. 5 years for schools to play each other that are less than 5 hours apart? NC State will play at Pittsburgh next in 2024… 2024 is the first time to play at a conference opponent seriously?

Is it a conference or just a group of teams under a conference banner?

Sure you can go to 9 game conference schedules, but I’m not sure I’m a fan of this. Your really limit schools like Clemson FSU and Georgai Tech that have in state rivals. Likely Louisville would be in the same boat with Kentucky.

How can this be fixed? I have an outside the box setup…. No divisions. Now hear me out before you dismiss it, because I have a plan.

8 Conference games

2 permanent crossover partners ( From a Pool of priority based geographically closest teams )

2 Highest Ranked teams play in the ACC Title Game.

Rather than create litany of rules, for now lets just assume permanent crossover teams are geographically close to you.

Florida State – may have  Miami\Clemson

Miami – may have FSU\Georgia Tech

Boston College – Syracuse\Pitt

Virginia Tech – Virginia\ Maybe Louisville or a NC school or maybe a Pitt

That’s great, but in this scenario FSU still doesn’t play Georgia Tech. Now here is the beauty…

FSU plays Miami and Clemson each with 6 ACC games left over. You play 6 of the 11 remaining ACC teams in year 1. The other 5 in year 2 with 1 team in back to back years. That means every FSU senior will play the rest of the ACC outside their permanet partners at least 2 times, and some cases 3 times.

Having your best teams in the ACC Championship game wouldn’t hurt ticket sales or national interest there either. In future years for example FSU would still be in the national title game and the Orange Bowl still gets an ACC team because the Orange will be contracted to take one.

Those matchups we’d like to see more often like Clemson and Virginia Tech would happen. The North Carolina schools would play each other more often. The northern schools still get the Florida access they want. If you ever expand to 16 teams, you get a perfect alternating non-permanent ACC 6 teams each year.

I don’t see any reason why we must have divisions, we don’t have them in basketball and it seems to work fine. The more I think about it the more I like just doing away with those pesky divisions all together.

Now the one hangup could be the NCAA. As Ryan Bamford pointed out to me on twitter…

@TalkinACCSports One issue: to have a conference title game a league must have divisions with 2 division winners in title game. NCAA rule.

I don’t think this is a show stopper, as the Power 5 conferences increasingly become more autonomous, but there would have to be a rule amendment.

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