Navy to the ACC?
There are some Internet rumors out there about Navy being in consideration for the ACC. Interesting.
First, if adding Navy means that Notre Dame joins the ACC full-time, then it is game over and you have to do it. Adding Notre Dame would legitimize the ACC in a way that no other addition could.
Second, if not, Navy could be added with the same program as Notre Dame. Perhaps both teams would play 5 games. Perhaps both teams would be willing to play 6 games. After all, the matchup between the two schools would now be a conference game. For scheduling purposes, it would make some sense to have two teams doing so.
Of course, the problem would be figuring out how to coordinate divisions. With Notre Dame and Navy both appealing to northern teams, it would be hard to divide geographically. Ideally, you’d want to separate Notre Dame and Navy. But then they would have to play extra games to face each other. It gets challenging.
An interesting move would be to add Navy and Army for football only if ND is willing to go “all in.” Picture this:
USA Pod: Syracuse, Army, ND, Boston College
NE Pod: Pitt, Navy, Virginia, Virginia Tech
NC Pod: NC, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest
SE Pod: Miami, FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech
The USA Pod and NE Pod always play each other, forming the NORTH division. The NC and SE Pod always play each other, forming the SOUTH division. The best teams in the North and South play in the CCG. Each team in the North would also play one team from the NC and SE pods each. Each team in the South would also play one team each from the USA and NE pods. The goal would be to match teams by level as much as possible.
With 9 opponents set, this would only leave Notre Dame three OOC games, presumably USC, a Big 10 school, and another school. But if ND were agreeable to that, so be it.
Obviously, there would be some issues. ND, Virginia Tech, and FSU are good anchors. North Carolina is a weak anchor for the NC pod. Although they were 8-4 this year. Meanwhile, having Clemson, Miami, and Georgia Tech in one pod is pretty strong. But, again, the pods are not actual divisions–just for scheduling purposes. It remains a North/South split. On balance, the North/South split is not that bad.
In fact, just allowing the geography to play itself out makes more sense than trying to manipulate balance. This year, Florida State is playing 6-6 Georgia Tech. It would be better to be playing an 10-2 team from the North–regardless of difficulty of schedule in getting there. For strength of schedule purposes, it benefits a Florida State or Clemson to play the toughest schedule possible. Of course, THIS year, Notre Dame would be the best team, with a 10-2 record overall.
In any event, that remains a bit of a pipe dream on many levels. For now, the discussion is UConn, Louisville, and Navy. Unfortunately, there is no real discussion about Cincinnati right now.
Time will tell as to which, if any, is chosen.