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.
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.
I like the ACC/SEC “challenge” idea more than anything. #GoACC!
Is ND included in the ACC’s required 8 conference games? If not, then in some years ND becomes their 9th.
They are probably considered OOC games.
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…)
How about this for the extended rivals;
Alabama Vs Ohio State
Auburn Vs Penn State
LSU Vs Michigan
Oregon Vs Wisconsin
Duke Vs Stanford
WF Vs Vanderbilt
BC Vs Northwestern
Syracuse Vs TCU
Miami Vs Baylor
Wash Vs Minnesota
Wash St Vs Illinois
Ore St Vs Purdue
UCLA Vs Michigan State
Cal Vs Indiana
NCState Vs Mississippi State
UNC Vs Ole Miss
UVA Vs Maryland
VT Vs Tennessee
Rutgers Vs Arkansas
Kan State Vs BYU
Ok State Vs Arizona
Tex Tech Vs Arizona State
Exactly. And then rotate around. Next year… change home team. Next two years… different opponents. And so on.
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