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Jun
08
2016

Should the ACC revisit the 9 game conference schedule again?

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The esteemed ACC writer @DavidTeelatDP‘s article today “Nine-game conference football schedule possible for ACC” got me thinking about the topic for the first time in quite awhile. Back in 2013 I said the ACC wasn’t ready for a 9 game conference schedule.  I argued that the ACC hadn’t become a strong enough top to bottom conference to create enough compelling conference games, especially for teams like Florida State and Clemson that needed marquee OOC games in their quest to make the college football playoffs.

Times have changed since then. The ACC was just starting to establish itself in 2013. Four Big 6 bowl wins, 2 Playoff Teams, multiple wins over top 10 OOC teams, and Florida State’s national title have occurred since them. Teel says there is another reason the ACC may be for a 9 game conference schedule.

Inventory.

The ACC needs more revenue from its media rightsholder, and in exchange, ESPN surely is requesting more inventory.

Inventory for what? Well that’s obvious as Teel leaves us this nugget.

Indeed, nine games are quite possible if, as expected, the ACC and ESPN agree by year’s end to broaden the league’s exposure through traditional (cable) and progressive (online streaming) means.

Well that is interesting for ACCNetworknics like myself when someone like Teel suggests in a fairly definitive manner we are getting ever closer to to a network announcement.

Regarding the 9 game schedule… should that be a requirement of ESPN to gain inventory, of course the ACC should do it. While the ACC certainly can still improve it’s football perception it is getting there and I think it is time to start cultivating more conference rivalries.

ESPN’s most recent too early Top 25 features 5 top 25 teams from the ACC, and in the last 2 years the ACC has finished with 3 top 15 teams. Wouldn’t we like to see more Clemson vs Virginia Tech games? Georgia Tech vs Florida State resulted in one of the best finishes in 2015 and is a natural geographic rivalry. Louisville and Virginia Tech has so much potential to be a new ACC rivalry. While Clemson vs Miami was a lopsided affair, Miami’s brand name brought tons of attention to Clemson’s win. Ranked teams North Carolina vs FSU is one of the more intriguing ACC games this year. Let’s not wait several years to have that game happen again.

Florida State is playing 4 pre-season ranked ACC teams. That’s more ranked conference teams than Georgia will play in the SEC. The ACC has the necessary depth now.

Geographically Wake Forest vs Duke and UNC should happen more often. Geographically close games increase attendance folks.

What of Notre Dame or the OOC scheduling for teams with in state rivals like FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech, or Louisville? I’ve always thought that Notre Dame would want an 8 game conference schedule so they could keep as many of their OOC games as they could. Well the ACC can’t wait on that. If ESPN wants 9 games they’ll get it. It won’t matter who’s at the end of an ACC team’s schedules either.

They can revisit conference scheduling should the Irish ever join fully. Right now going to a 9 game conference schedule may be the way to go for a variety of reasons.

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2 comments

  1. Max says:

    This also could be a ploy to get Notre Dame to join the conference as a full member. They would have a nine-game conference schedule plus Navy, Stanford, and USC. Now, I wonder if they will realign the divisions and get rid of the permanent crossover opponent.

  2. Hokie Mark says:

    BETTER APPROACH:
    1. Stay at 8 “true” ACC games/year
    2. Up the P5 OOC requirement to 2 games/year
    3. For those who want it, allow 1 of those P5 OOC games to be against an ACC team (still don’t count it toward division winners).

    I believe that works out to the same number of ACC-vs-P5 games as a 9-game schedule, though it creates 14 more TOTAL games.

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