FanPost

Fixing the ACC's Conference Schedule

Problem: With expansion in 2013 to 14 teams, there will be 7 annual games teams must play with only 1 open slot for the 6 teams in the other division to rotate in on. This means a home&home series takes 12 years. It won't feel like 1 conference. Players will miss 2 conference opponents in their 4-years on campus. 1 time every 6 years isn't enough.

Goal: Maintain important historical/geographic rivalries while increasing how often ACC schools play each other.

Step 1: John Swofford writes a nicely-worded letter to the NCAA asking permission to continue having the ACC Championship Game without Atlantic & Coastal divisions. Maybe Mike Slive will do the hard work for him, since the SEC has the same problem:

http://www.teamspeedkills.com/2012/10/15/3507584/fixing-the-secs-conference-schedule

Step 2: The rule change puts all 14 teams in 1 pool & matches up #1 vs #2 in the conference championship.

Step 3: Each team is matched up with their top 5 rivals for annual games.

Step 4: The other 8 teams are rotated through the remaining 3 conference game slots.

I listed out the 5 annual rivals for each team below. I also included the # of times the teams have met in the past 80 years (I used 1933, the year SEC played its' 1st conference game until after 2012) & how many miles the campus' are apart & if there's a folksy nickname for the matchup. At the very bottom is the rivalries that didn't make the cut.

1st Some Rules:

  • North Carolina schools all play each other annually

  • North Carolina schools all have an annual game vs a southern team (NC State has 2)

  • Big East schools all play each other annually

  • Big East schools do not have an annual North Carolina game

  • Every school has at least 1 southern annual game

  • Only Wake, Duke, NC State & Maryland skip out on an annual game vs a Florida school

  • Every traditional ACC school has at least 1 annual game vs a North Carolina school

Clemson (1953, Founding Member):

1. Florida State - 26 times played since 1933 (80 years), 353 miles apart

2. Georgia Tech - 57 times, 124 miles apart

3. North Carolina State - 69 times, 280 miles apart (Textile Bowl)

4. Maryland - 61 times, 522 miles apart

5. Wake Forest - 78 times, 206 miles apart

Game 9. Sakerlina - 80x, 133 mi (Palmetto Brawl, I mean Bowl)

Game 10. Georgia - 37x, 75 mi / Auburn - 24x, 233 mi / Notre Dame - 2x, 687 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

Game 11. Rotate in-state FCS team: Furman, Wofford, Presbyterian, SC State, Citadel, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina

Game 12. Pay some Sun Belt or MAC cupcake to visit Death Valley

Clemson keeps the 4 Atlantic division opponents it wants to play & the coastal cross-over rivalry with Ga Tech. This keeps us playing Cuse & BC annually & allows us to play UNC, Virginia, Va Tech & Miami more often. Non-conference Clemson plays Sakerlina annually & should rotate Georgia & Auburn in between Notre Dame matchups.

North Carolina (1953, Founding Member):

1. Duke - 81x, 11 mi (Tobacco Road)

2. North Carolina State - 76x, 29 mi (Tobacco Road)

3. Wake Forest - 75x, 77 mi

4. Virginia - 80x, 180 mi (South's Oldest Rivalry)

5. Florida State - 69x, 280 mi

Game 9. Sakerlina - 37x, 196 mi / Tennessee - 21x, 334 mi / Notre Dame - 18x, 732 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

Game 10. East Carolina - 14x, 113 mi (play 2x in 4 yrs) & find a home&home w/ a BCS team

UNC hasn't played Wake annually since divisions were created. This gets that game back, keeps UVA on the schedule & sends them to FSU so they don't go undefeated. Out of conference, they don't have an annual rival but they should take on their 2 border states - South Carolina & Tennessee in between Notre Dame matchups. The state of NC forces teams to play ECU & they have a 50,000 seat stadium so they can play home&home. UNC will need to get a real BCS team for the 2 years they don't play ECU.

North Carolina State (1953, Founding Member):

1. North Carolina - 76x, 29 mi (Tobacco Road)

2. Duke - 72x, 26 mi (Tobacco Road)

3. Wake Forest - 80x, 104 mi

4. Clemson - 69x, 280 mi (Textile Bowl)

5. Georgia Tech - 26x, 407 mi

Game 9. Sakerlina - 41x, 204 mi / Tennessee - 2x, 364 mi / Notre Dame - 1x, 762 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

Game 10. East Carolina - 27x, 84 mi (play 2x in 4 yrs) & find a home&home w/ a BCS team

NC State lost Duke with divisions. They're the default 'football' school in NC so they get 2 southern teams annually. I think they should play the other border state when UNC's not & give those SEC schools an annual trip to Tobacco Road. They also play ECU home&home & will need to find a BCS home&home for the other slot.

Duke (1953, Founding Member):

1. North Carolina - 81x, 11 mi (Tobacco Road)

2. Wake Forest - 78x, 81 mi

3. North Carolina State - 72x, 26 mi (Tobacco Road)

4. Georgia Tech - 80x, 384 mi

5. Virginia - 58x, 167 mi

Game 9. Notre Dame - 4x, 735 mi / Vanderbilt - 11x, 516 mi / East Carolina - 10x, 100 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

Game 10. find a home&home w/ a BCS team

Duke lost NC State w/ the divisions. They keep playing 2 smart schools outside NC here. NC can't make the private schools play ECU but they should mix in ECU & Vandy between Notre Dame matchups. They'll need to find BCS games every year for their 10th game, like how they played Stanford this year. Unless Vandy wants annual matchups w/ Duke & as well as Vandy.

Wake Forest (1953, Founding Member):

1. Duke - 78x, 81 mi

2. North Carolina - 75x, 77 mi

3. North Carolina State - 80x, 104 mi

4. Clemson - 78x, 206 mi

5. Maryland - 60x, 333 mi

Game 9. Vanderbilt - 15x, 437 mi

Game 10. Notre Dame - 2x, 653 mi / East Carolina - 8x, 188 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs) & find a home&home w/ a BCS team

Wake lost UNC w/ divisions. Like Duke they should play ECU 2x every 6 yrs. They'll need to find another home&home BCS game in between Notre Dame games. Wake & Vandy agreed to play each other to end their seasons since Tennessee plays Kentucky last game of the year.

Maryland (1953, Founding Member):

1. Virginia - 68x, 128 mi (Beltway Brawl)

2. Clemson - 61x, 522 mi

3. Wake Forest - 60x, 333 mi

4. Syracuse - 32x, 363 mi

5. Pittsburgh - 5x, 240 mi

Game 9. West Virginia - 48x, 207 mi / Penn State - 36x, 184 mi / Notre Dame - 2x, 609 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

Game 10. Navy - 11x, 29 mi (play 2x in 4 yrs) & find a home&home w/ a BCS team

As the furthest north traditional ACC school, Maryland picks up Cuse & Pitt. They've played Cuse a lot out of conference & Pitt is a 4 hour drive. Maryland should play West Va & Penn State 2x every 6 yrs between Notre Dame games. Maryland should play Navy more often then find another BCS team in odd years.

Virginia (1954, #7):

1. Virginia Tech - 75x, 149 mi (Commonwealth Cup)

2. North Carolina - 80x, 180 mi (South's Oldest Rivalry)

3. Maryland - 68x, 128 mi (Beltway Brawl)

4. Duke - 58x, 167 mi

5. Florida State - 17x, 726 mi (Jefferson-Eppes Trophy)

Game 9. Sakerlina - 25x, 363 mi / Penn State - 7x, 245 mi / Notre Dame - 1x, 677 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

Game 10. Navy - 29x, 151 mi (play 2x in 4 yrs) & find a home&home w/ a BCS team

Virginia just missed the ACC's 1st meetings so they joined in winter of '53 - too late for the inaugural football season. They don't have an out of conference rival so they should also play Penn State (like they did this year) & old ACC foe Sakerlina in between Notre Dame games.

Georgia Tech (1978, #8):

1. Clemson - 57x, 124 mi

2. Florida State - 22x, 252 mi

3. North Carolina State - 26x, 407 mi

4. Duke - 80x, 384 mi

5. Boston College - 8x, 1,062 mi

Game 9. Georgia - 80x, 69 mi (Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate)

Game 10. Auburn - 56x, 110 mi / Tennessee - 35x, 190 mi / Notre Dame - 26x, 675 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

Ga Tech draws the short straw & has to play BC. Clemson & Wake have both played BC 20+ times but have other rivalries to maintain as older ACC teams. An Atlanta to Boston non-stop flight should be cheap enough. Out of conference, Ga Tech plays Georgia annually & was in the SEC so they have a history w/ Auburn & Tennessee for when they're not playing Notre Dame.

Florida State (1992, #9):

1. Miami - 57x, 474 mi

2. Clemson - 26x, 353 mi

3. Georgia Tech - 22x, 252 mi

4. North Carolina - 18, 588 mi

5. Virginia - 17x, 726 mi (Jefferson-Eppes Trophy)

Game 9. Florida - 47x, 144 mi (Governor's Cup)

Game 10. Auburn - 18x, 196 mi / Notre Dame - 7x, 917 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs) & alternate South Florida - 2x, 244 mi & Central Florida - 1x, 245 mi

FSU lost Ga Tech w/ the divisions so now they get to play in Atlanta every other year. They play Florida out of conference & should play Auburn since they're so close. For the other home&home they should alternate USF & UCF in-state.

Miami (2004, #10-11):

1. Florida State - 57x, 474 mi

2. Pittsburgh - 32x, 1,175 mi

3. Virginia Tech - 30x, 900 mi

4. Boston College - 29x, 1,495 mi

5. Syracuse - 22x, 1,420 mi

Game 9. Florida - 54x, 335 mi (Seminole War Canoe Trophy)

Game 10. Notre Dame - 25x, 1,336 mi / South Florida - 5x, 265 mi / Central Florida - 2x, 231 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

Miami was the 1st of the Big East schools to join the ACC & launched a big trend. They play in-state rival FSU & the other 4 BE teams that followed them over. Out of conference, Florida needs to man up & make this an annual series again. Miami can play USF & UCF when they're not playing Notre Dame or alternate them like FSU does here & play a BCS opponent in that slot.

Virginia Tech (2004, #10-11):

1. Virginia - 75x, 149 mi (Commonwealth Cup)

2. Miami - 30x, 900 mi

3. Pittsburgh - 12x, 321 mi

4. Boston College - 21x, 704 mi

5. Syracuse - 17x, 570 mi

Game 9. East Carolina - 17x, 271 mi / Notre Dame - 0x, 575 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs) & find a home&home w/ a BCS team

Game 10. West Virginia - 47x, 250 mi / Kentucky - 16x, 313 mi / Tennessee - 4x, 236 mi (play each 2x in 6 yrs)

VPI also has an in-state rival & then plays the other 4 BE teams. Out of conference they should play border states West Va, Kentucky & Tenn 2x every 6 years. In real life they're playing ECU from 2013-2020 so they can play them 2x every 6 years.

Boston College (2005, #12):

1. Syracuse - 45x, 303 mi

2. Pittsburgh - 29x, 575 mi

3. Miami - 29x, 1,495 mi

4. Virginia Tech - 21x, 704 mi

5. Georgia Tech - 8x, 1,062 mi

Game 9. Connecticut - 5x, 84 mi

Game 10. Penn State - 23x, 438 mi / Notre Dame - 22x, 893 mi (play 2x each in 4 yrs)

Game 11. Army - 35x, 207 mi (play 2x in 6 yrs)

BC reunites w/ Cuse & Pitt, its' 2 main northeastern rivals & they also lost Miami w/ the move to the ACC. They'll play Ga Tech since they don't have a regional ACC rival like the others do. Both are smart schools in big cities. UConn only started playing FBS football after BC left the Big East so there's no rivalry there but BC wants to block UConn to the ACC at all costs & there have been heated words by school officials. They're 80 miles apart & those are all good reasons to play an annual football game for New England. BC & Pitt will play Notre Dame every other year instead of 1x every 3 years like everyone else so they can also play Penn State every other year. Then keep playing nearby Army.

Pittsburgh (2013, #13-14):

1. Syracuse - 57x, 351 mi

2. Boston College - 29x, 575 mi

3. Miami - 32x, 1,175 mi

4. Maryland - 5x, 240 mi

5. Virginia Tech - 12x, 321 mi

Game 9. West Virginia - 76x, 76 mi (Backyard Brawl)

Game 10. Penn State - 62x, 136 mi / Notre Dame - 62x, 372 mi (play 2x each in 4 yrs)

Game 11. Temple - 36x, 304 mi / Army - 25x, 385 mi (play 2x each in 6 yrs)

Pitt picks up a new rivalry w/ Maryland since they're the only ACC school near Pittsburgh & plays the other 4 BE teams. When Pitt & West Va dumped the BE they stopped playing each other for this year. That needs to stop now & Pitt can play Notre Dame & Penn State back-to-back home&home series. They also need to play in-state Temple & Army.

Syracuse (2013, #13-14):

1. Pittsburgh - 57x, 351 mi

2. Boston College - 45x, 303 mi

3. Maryland - 32x, 363 mi

4. Miami - 22x, 1,420 mi

5. Virginia Tech - 17x, 570 mi

Game 9. Rutgers - 38x, 239 mi

Game 10. West Virginia - 59x, 415 mi / Penn State - 59x, 232 mi / Notre Dame - 5x, 589 mi

Game 11. Army - 12x, 213 mi (play 2x in 6 yrs)

Cuse plays the 4 BE teams & continues their series w/ Maryland. Cuse left Rutgers in the BE but that's practically an in-state matchup so that should be their annual out of conference game. They can rotate West Va & Penn State w/ Notre Dame & will need to play in-state Army more (6x in 80 yrs? shame on you).

Non-Annual Rivalries, # of times played in the past 80 years:

63x

Maryland - NC State

59x

Maryland - North Carolina

53x

Clemson - Duke

52x

Virginia - NC State

50x

Clemson - North Carolina

49x

Maryland - Duke

46x

Clemson - Virginia

46x

Virginia - Wake Forest

40x

Georgia Tech - North Carolina

36x

Florida State - Virginia Tech

35x

Georgia Tech - Virginia

33x

Florida State - NC State

32x

Virginia Tech - Wake Forest

31x

Florida State - Wake Forest

Friends of the ACC: these schools have gone above & beyond scheduling ACC teams

Notre Dame - 5 ACC games = agreed to join the ACC for basketball & non-revenue sports & will play 5 ACC teams a year. 2 games in 4 years for rivals Pitt & BC & 2 games in 6 years for the rest of the ACC. This gives most ACC teams a chance for home&home - @ Notre Dame - another home&home - Notre Dame (6 year rotation).

Florida - 2 ACC games = annual game w/ FSU & needs to pick up the annual Miami game

West Virginia - 2 ACC games = annual game vs Pitt & a 2nd game vs Va Tech, Maryland & Cuse 2x each in 6 years

Penn State - 2 ACC games = plays Pitt & BC 2x each in 4 years for their 1st game & rotates Virginia, Maryland & Cuse 2x each in 6 years

Sakerlina - 2 ACC games = annual game vs Clemson & a 2nd game vs UNC, NCST or Virginia 2x each in 6 years

East Carolina - 2 ACC games = plays UNC & NCST 2x each in 4 years for their 1st game & rotates Wake, Duke & Va Tech 2x each in 6 years

Georgia - 1.3 ACC games = annual game vs Ga Tech & plays Clemson 2 out of every 6 years

Auburn - 1 ACC game = rotates games vs Ga Tech, Clemson & FSU

Tennessee - 1 ACC game = rotates games vs Ga Tech, UNC & NCST

Navy - 1 ACC game = either plays Maryland or Virginia

Army - 1 ACC game = either plays Cuse, BC or Pitt

Kentucky - 0.3 ACC games = 2 years on w/ Va Tech, 4 years off, repeat

USF & UCF = 1 of these directional schools will be playing FSU or Miami most years.

Thoughts?: What do you think? Is playing 5 teams annually instead of 7 / playing the other teams 6x every 16 yrs instead of 6x every 36 years better? Do you like potentially matching up #1 & #2 in the ACC Championship Game? Or do you think it'll create worse matchups than Atlantic-Coastal does now (undeserving team playing other a better team)?

These opinions are not necessarily those of the Proprietors of Shakin' The Southland.

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