Weekend Topic: ACC Football Divisions
The folks over at Tomahawk Nation have a nice debate, albeit FSU-centric, as to how the ACC divisions should be reconfigured. So let’s delve in and discuss.
Given that the current divisions are just a random collection of whatever that nobody could possibly remember, here are they are as of right now:
Atlantic: Florida State, Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest, Maryland (Louisville in 2014), Boston College, Syracuse
Coastal: Miami, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh
The Confidential has previously advocated for a quasi-geographic breakdown of the teams. John Cassillo over at atlanticcoastconvos proposed the same thing on the Tomahawk Nation blog (midway down):
Atlantic: Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt, Maryland (Louisville)
Coastal: Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech
The teams are listed above/below a permanent crossover.
This is essentially the “Old ACC less Virginia.” Or N/S, plus Miami and Louisville. Miami works with the North. Virginia? Maybe, maybe not. But they would play UNC every year.
But the FSU folks have an interesting suggestion or two, including a straight–let’s get a strong strength of schedule method proposed by SirChancelot:
Atlantic: Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, Louisville, Pitt, Virginia
Coastal: Duke, UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, BC, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech
The logic being that the football schools can beat up on each other and establish a strength of schedule that matches up with the SEC. And if the ACC-Championship Game is garbage, so what? It always is anyway. Better to have the 11-1 team get to 12-1 without hassle. Frankly, the Confidential sees some logic in it, but questions the choice of schools. How about this instead:
Atlantic: FSU, Miami, Va Tech, Clemson, Georgia Tech, NC State, Louisville
Coastal, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Virginia
If anyone runs the table in the Atlantic, they should be sitting pretty from a strength-of-schedule standpoint.
Of course, if anyone runs the table in the ACC in any format, will they be excluded from a strength-of-schedule standpoint anyway? That seems to be a fabricated issue. It is not strength of schedule that harms the ACC schools, it is losing to teams that one should not lose to.
Moreover, playing all those games may help the strength of schedule, but wouldn’t it increase the chances of a bunch of 4-3 teams.
The Confidential’s perspective is that the ACC has a poor image because it is not top-heavy enough. The B1G is Michigan and Ohio State usually. The Big XII is Texas and Oklahoma usually. The Pac-12 is USC or Oregon usually. Exceptions happen obviously, but that is what we can expect. The SEC is great because there are 5 teams that have the ability to run the table–and one or two of them usually do. The ACC may have a couple of schools that “can,” but they always falter along the way to middling schools. Bunching up the great teams is not going to help. However, the idea of ignoring competitive balance has merit. One can never get it straight anyway.
Otherwise, the suggestions over there involve a re-assortment of the current system. Swap Miami for Florida State, or Clemson for Georgia Tech.
Nobody suggested this one… organize by number of words it takes to state the school:
Atlantic (1 word): Clemson, Miami, Pitt, Louisville, Virginia, Duke, Syracuse
Coastal (2 words): Georgia Tech, Florida State, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Wake Forest
Actually, that is not bad competitive balance for football. Hmmmm.
From the Confidential’s perspective, the priority of the conference should be as follows:
- Maximizing TV revenue–gotta keep up with the Joneses
- Maintaining traditional rivalries
- Easy of remembering divisions –nobody should have to look up who is in each division, whether an ACC fan or not
- Maximizing gate revenue–more $$$
- Competitive balance
- Ensuring high strength of schedule
What do you think–what is THE most important thing that the ACC must consider if/when rearranging the divisions for football? What is your proposal?