Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We Need More UNC and Duke! ACC May Go to 18-Game Schedule

The ACC is looking at going to an 18-game basketball schedule. To be honest, I don't know how I feel about it.

For one, there is already too much change going on in the conference. The additions of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College has been good for basketball but it took away the coveted round robin effect of the regular season. Now and ACC team plays two opponents twice every year, three opponents twice in a three year rotation and the other six teams they play just once.

All the 18-game season will do to help that (which I sort-of like) is add two more round robin games so that only four teams you will play just once.

Still, this all kind of stinks. The ACC season already seems like a grind. It has been a 16-game slate since 1991 and it was easy to keep track of. Now with the league expanding from Boston to Miami (instead of Washington DC to Tallahassee), the league seems packed.

The ACC and the television partners want this because of what I call the "UNC/Duke factor". Any conference game that UNC or Duke plays ... regardless of the opponent ... gets good ratings. Pretty much all conference games that they don't play in fall well short. That's true on ESPN, CBS, ABC or even local affiliates.

With an 18-game season, the conference is getting two more UNC games and two more Duke games. Yeah, they are also getting 20 more games from other teams ... but all that does is help extend the TV package another week.

One big cry by coaches is that it will kill the non-conference schedule. I don't really believe it. Yes, it could affect UNC and Duke and how they schedule a smidge ... but will it really hurt the non-con skeddies of Clemson, Virginia Tech or NC State (three schools who notoriously pad their non conference schedules with cupcakes)?

I guess I'll like it. At the very least, I'll be forced to like it.

No comments: