With the ACC apparently deciding to stick with 8 conference games for football, at least part of the reason is that several ACC schools have SEC rivals that must be played each year. Between those games, and the Notre Dame 5-game thing, that could eliminate scheduling flexibility substantially for some schools.
But what of these rivalries? Could every ACC school have an out-of-conference rivalry with another p5 school? Let’s consider the possibilities to allow every P5 team (including Notre Dame and BYU) to have an OOC rivalry game each year:
- Florida State vs. Florida (same)
- Clemson vs. South Carolina (same)
- Louisville vs. Kentucky (same)
- Georgia Tech vs. Georgia (same)
- Notre Dame vs USC (same)
That provides for five ACC schools. So, what of the other schools? Just about everyone would want Maryland, and prefer Penn State and West Virginia based on proximity. But that cannot be. So how could we divide this up? Also, have to assume that if every P5 school was to grab a rival, some of the old rivalries would resume, such as Oklahoma-Nebraska, Texas-Texas A&M, Missouri-Kansas, etc. So we have to leave those out.
Pittsburgh would be the toughest because it has two options–West Virginia and Penn State. We’ll go West Virginia.
Boston College would probably like to see UConn here, but UConn is not there. Penn State probably makes some geographical sense. Maryland is nearby and provides a fairly equivalent talent level. But BC does not get first choice here. Let’s go with Northwestern–another private school in the north.
Syracuse has to be Rutgers, as the two schools compete for recruits in New Jersey. A battle for NYC if you will. If the program was in better shape, then perhaps Penn State.
Wake Forest does not have a lot of P5 options, but they have had a decent rivalry with Vanderbilt over the years. A couple of private schools in the South. Sounds good.
Duke is another private school–which makes them a good match-up for Northwestern. Both schools are sometimes considered to be sorta Ivy League. But how about BYU? Just as private and a fair equivalent on the football field lately.
Virginia Tech might have liked West Virginia, but with nearby Penn State a very “on par” team in terms of talent, let’s go with Penn State.
This leaves North Carolina, NC State, Miami, and Virginia.
Virginia is struggling on the football field, but doing quite well in hoops. Maryland is just too close to not use.
North Carolina is too good in football to be matched up with Indiana. And Indiana hoops is not quite what it once was. But we are talking football anyway. Instead, let’s look South, where Tennessee is doing similar things on the football field lately.
North Carolina State is a middle of the pack team that certainly has some potential, but never quite reaches it. Ole Miss might be too good on the football field right now, but it is a comparative school in many respects.
Miami and Auburn make some sense. Pretty close geographically…as close as anyone can be to Miami. Both have great upside every year, both often fail to live up to it.
What does that leave? Well, Ohio State vs. Alabama, Michigan vs. LSU, Michigan State vs UCLA, Wisconsin vs Oregon, and so on.
So here is the recap:
- Pitt vs West Virginia
- BC vs Northwestern
- Syracuse vs Rutgers
- Wake Forest vs Vanderbilt
- Duke vs BYU
- Va Tech vs Penn State
- Virginia vs Maryland
- North Carolina vs Tennessee
- NC State vs Ole Miss
- Miami vs Auburn
What do you think? If each ACC school without an SEC rival could pick a rival, who would it be?