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Jun
01
2014

The @DavidTeelatDP Proposal to Realign Atlantic Coast Conference Football Divisions (#ACC)

 

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Good afternoon, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) football fans.

Well – we’re about 90 days out from the first ACC football game 😉

Jeff (@TalkinACCSports on Twitter) and I (@HokieSmash on Twitter) will help you make it – we have some great podcasts coming up this summer – we are previewing each of the 15 ACC teams before the season starts.

Our friend – and the dean of all Virginia and ACC sportswriters, the veteran David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP on Twitter) of the Norfolk Daily News and Press, recently blogged on the topic of realigning the ACC football divisions.  Specifically, Teel proposed that the ACC:

Swap Louisville and Georgia Tech. Send the Cardinals from the Atlantic to Coastal Division, the Yellow Jackets from the Coastal to Atlantic.

The bennies would include:

  • A yearly Atlantic Division clash between Florida State and Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are the Seminoles’ closest ACC rival geographically, but with the current format, they will play only once every six years. That’s foolish.
  • Placing Georgia Tech in the Atlantic gives Syracuse and Boston College games in Atlanta once every two years as opposed to once every 12. With Pitt’s once-every-two-years trip to Coastal rival Miami, the ACC’s three Northeast schools would have equal access to the league’s major southern media markets.
  • An annual Virginia Tech-Clemson crossover collision. These are like-minded institutions and football programs, and fans of both, not to mention ESPN, would welcome the game. And ESPN, let’s not forget, will be the final arbiter on whether a cable channel dedicated to ACC sports flies

Teel goes on to say:

In fact, victories in such games, provided Clemson and Louisville remain prominent, would enhance Virginia Tech’s chances of landing in college football’s four-team playoff, where selection could well hinge on strength of schedule.

Here’s how the divisions would look with the Georgia Tech-Louisville switch. Teams are listed next to their annual crossover opponent.

COASTAL            ATLANTIC

Virginia Tech      Clemson

Miami                   Florida State

Louisville              Georgia Tech

Pittsburgh           Syracuse

North Carolina   N.C. State

Virginia                Boston College

Duke                     Wake Forest

The only change for Virginia would be playing Boston College each season instead of Georgia Tech. Cavaliers faithful may correct me, but that trade doesn’t appear to be untenable.

The lone swap for Clemson would be annual games against Virginia Tech instead of Louisville. The Tigers have played the Hokies 33 times; Clemson and Louisville have never played. Case closed.

Louisville would lose annual games against Florida State and Clemson but would gain yearly contests versus Virginia Tech and Miami. Again, hardly a deal-breaker. Plus, the Cardinals are on-their-knees grateful to be in the ACC, period, and in no position to bicker over divisions.

Georgia Tech would encounter the greatest change, bidding farewell to long-standing annual matchups with North Carolina, Virginia and Duke, but reuniting with Florida State, North Carolina State and Wake Forest.

Again, correct if I’m wrong, but that doesn’t seem unreasonable.

(Since posting this, several Virginia and Georgia Tech fans have told me they would prefer the Cavaliers and Yellow Jackets as crossover rivals, with Louisville then assigned to Boston College. That’s an easy flip, and if the powers that be concur, great.)

Teel nailed this proposal.  The ACC needs more marquee football games – an annual Virginia Tech – Clemson matchup would provide the ACC with such a game – as would an annual contest between the Hokies and Louisville.  Additionally, Georgia Tech is more culturally aligned with the southeastern part of the United States – and the Jackets should be playing Florida State every year.  Yes, Louisville would lose annual games with Florida State and Clemson – but would pick up annual games with Virginia Tech and Miami.  Boston College and Virginia have similar institutional cultures – and would my Eagles friends would soon hate the Hoos 😉

Virginia Tech President, Timothy Sands, and Athletic Director, Whit Babcock, need to get ACC commissioner, John Swofford, on speed dial to discuss this proposal 😉  Perhaps they should invite David Teel.

And a Sunday afternoon update below from Twitter:

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