Monday, May 12, 2014

ACC Would Be Wise To Stay At 8-Game Season

The bigwigs of the ACC are meeting to discuss several things, but one main item will drive the talks.  Should the ACC keep their 8-game conference football slate or should they go to 9 games?  Seems simple but it is quite complicated.  There are a couple of sticking points to making a decision.

For a while, it seemed as if the ACC pretty much had to go to a 9-game season.  After all, everyone else has or is doing so.  Well ... that was until the SEC decided to stay with their 8-game season.  That bit of news through the college conference structure for a loop.  The SEC decided that it was hurting their shot at having one or even two teams in the brand spanking new College Football Playoff if it was to subject their teams to an extra game.

The ACC knows they aren't as strong a conference as the SEC is and it may be harder for them to get just one team in the playoff.  Why have Florida State play an extra game when it doesn't have to?

If the ACC decides to stay put like the SEC did, it could cause other conferences to scoff.  After all, they will feel at a disadvantage since the ACC will have one less conference game.  And ... ?  The ACC, like the SEC, is in some pretty prime real estate.  If you decide to boycott the ACC or SEC, then you've boycotted the southern and eastern United States and those football recruits.  It ain't happening.

The ACC also must consider two other issues involving their scheduling already.  One is the fact that Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and Georgia Tech already have a rivalry game with an SEC opponent (something that the SEC factored in with their side of the rivalries with South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky and Georgia).  Also, Notre Dame is now scheduled to play at least five ACC games each season meaning there really is no room for an extra conference game.

If you are Florida State, you right now have an 8-game ACC slate that always sees you face Clemson and Louisville.  You have a 9th game against Florida at the end of the season.  The year that Notre Dame rotates to your schedule sees your 10th game already set.  If the ACC expanded to a 9-game regular season then Florida State would only have ONE game they could schedule on their own and that would most likely be against a low tier school.

You can see that there is a lot to think about.  That doesn't even take into account the ACC's other big talking point of the viability of a new ACC Network where a 9th conference game increases inventory.  Or the fact that the ACC may ditch divisions altogether and just have the top two teams face off in the ACC Championship game.

Or maybe not.

Sportz Note:  The ACC decided to stay at the 8-game format but will demand each school play at least one non-conference game against a power conference foe (SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12) if they aren't due to play Notre Dame that season.  That stipulation is similar to what the SEC agreed to.  

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