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.