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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

More on ACC Scheduling

Frank the Tank has an article discussing the Big 10’s scheduling options moving forward–especially if the ACC’s move to allow conference autonomy to determine a champion succeeds.  At the same time, ESPN is reporting that the ACC and SEC have had discussions about a scheduling concept of some sort, which would feature even more SEC v ACC games.  All of this got the Confidential thinking about scheduling options.  Here is an idea:

First, let’s just go with 9 game schedules for conferences.  That leaves 3 OOC games for each school.

Second, a 10th game is either a rivalry or part of a 5-conference scheduling alliance.  Here are the rivalry games:

Texas v Texas A&M

Florida v Florida State

Pittsburgh v West Virginia

Iowa v Iowa State

Nebraska v Oklahoma

Missouri v Kansas

Clemson v South Carolina

Georgia v Georgia Tech

Louisville v Kentucky

USC v Notre Dame

That is 19 teams with built-in rivalry games.  That leaves a lot of top 5 conference schools needing “rivals” for a game.  Let’s list them by conference:

ACC: Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest, Miami (9)

Big 10: Ohio State, Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota (12)

SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi St., LSU, Arkansas, Tennessee, Vanderbilt (8)

Big XII: Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State, Kansas State (5)

Pac XII: Utah, Colorado, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State  (11)

So, that leaves 45 schools.  To this, we will add… Brigham Young to get to 46 schools, also offsetting Notre Dame’s inclusion.  We will exclude Utah and Colorado due to Colorado State/Utah State rivalry games–even though this gives those two schools a bit of an edge. That leaves 44 schools.

Third, of these 46  schools, they can be divided into roughly these groups:

Elite: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Oregon, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State (8)

Private: Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Syracuse, Miami, TCU, Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Baylor (10)

Rose Bowl: Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, UCLA, Cal, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois (10)

East: NC State, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Maryland, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State (10)

West: Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Arizona, Arizona State, Brigham Young (6)

A lot of this happens anyway organically.  Wake Forest-Vandy… Duke-Stanford… Syracuse-Northwestern.   Might as well go all out and solidify it.  In such an arrangement, all teams would be, essentially, obligated to play a “rival” from these groups to ensure that every conference has 10 games against  P5 schools… minimum (except Colorado/Utah, who at least play rivalry games that should be competitive).

From there, schools can decide what to do with their 11th and 12th games–at their own peril.  In the meantime, the schools with locked-in rivals do not have to feel as if their conference mates can schedule around them with patsies.

This is certainly better than the SEC and ACC agreeing to a set of games against each other–where Mississippi State might play Boston College.  The increased structure seems inevitable as things move forward.  Whether it is a system like this or another system, change is on the horizon.

Query–would anyone in the ACC have a problem with this?  The private schools get private schools.  The public schools get games against regional rivals.

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8 thoughts on “More on ACC Scheduling

  1. While this is workable, it’s still not optimal. Teams like Clemson and FSU (as well as several of the SEC schools and probably Pittsburgh, too) don’t want 9 conference games under ANY condition. That’s because they want to play their OOC rival PLUS ANOTHER P5 OOC game every year. If I understand correctly, the idea of the ACC/SEC challenge was to allow both leagues to remain at 8 conference games indefinitely. In fact, the 9-game schedule is the reason why the B1G/Pac-12 scheduling alliance fell through in the first place. So really, 9 ACC games and the SEC challenge idea are mutually exclusive – pick one, but not both… IF I understand correctly.

  2. M. Caffrey on said:

    There seems something unusual about a team like Syracuse that plays more frequently against an OOC rival like Northwestern than an in-conference team like Virginia Tech.

    If the NCAA does allow for a non-divisional championship game, then you could theoretically have a regional pod system with 3 pods of 5 teams (including ND or some other future team like UCF, Cinci, or Texas).

    The breakdown would be: play each team in your pod once, and play four games from the other two pods (with 2 teams that are set as cross-pod rivals).

    A potential breakdown could be:
    Northern Pod – Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt, Miami, ND*
    Southern Pod – FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech, WtF, L’Ville
    Carolina Pod – NC State, Duke, UNC, UVA, VPI

    Cross-pod Rivals could look like this:
    Boston College: Georgia Tech & VPI
    Clemson: NC State & Duke
    Duke: Syracuse & Clemson
    FSU: Miami & Notre Dame
    Georgia Tech: Boston College & Virginia
    Louisville: Virginia & Pittsburgh
    Miami: FSU & UNC
    NC State: Wake Forest & Clemson
    Notre Dame: FSU & VPI
    Pittsburgh: UNC & Louisville
    Syracuse: Duke & Wake Forest
    UNC: Pitt & Miami
    Virginia:Georgia Tech & Louisville
    VPI: Boston College & Notre Dame
    Wake Forest: Syracuse & NC State

    Since selecting the Championship Game teams will probably be a popularity contest anyway, select the two teams with the most impressive records (based on strength of cross-pod rivals, pod schedule, etc…)

  3. How about this for the extended rivals;
    Elite
    Alabama Vs Ohio State
    Auburn Vs Penn State
    LSU Vs Michigan
    Oregon Vs Wisconsin

    Private
    Duke Vs Stanford
    WF Vs Vanderbilt
    BC Vs Northwestern
    Syracuse Vs TCU
    Miami Vs Baylor

    Rose Bowl
    Wash Vs Minnesota
    Wash St Vs Illinois
    Ore St Vs Purdue
    UCLA Vs Michigan State
    Cal Vs Indiana

    South-East
    NCState Vs Mississippi State
    UNC Vs Ole Miss
    UVA Vs Maryland
    VT Vs Tennessee
    Rutgers Vs Arkansas

    Mid-West
    Kan State Vs BYU
    Ok State Vs Arizona
    Tex Tech Vs Arizona State

  4. Pingback: Poll: ACC Future Football Scheduling | The Confidential

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