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October 3, 2016

Back in August the ACC punted on the whole issue of football schedule requirements. With the agreement with ESPN for the ACC Network, content had to be improved/increased.

The ACC had two proposals for annual scheduling. The 9+1 solution: 9 conference games and 1 game against a Power 5 conference program. Or the 8+2 solution: 8 conference games and 2 games against a Power 5 conference program.

Neither one had  a strong majority. Schools like FSU, Clemson, GT and Louisville all favored the 8+2 plan because they have annual non-con, in-state rivalry games with SEC opponents. Making it much easier to add just one extra non-con game against a P5 team.

Other schools like Virginia, UNC, NC St., Wake Forest all were adamant about wanting to go to 9+1

Duke also seems to favor 8+2 which I simply do not understand why.

David Teel is the reporter most plugged into the ACC conference and machinations. When he writes something it is almost always the closest to the truth you will find. He writes today that the vote could happen this week — or punted one more time.

Big 12 presidents are mired in a perpetual expansion debate, and some ACC athletic directors would like to delay their scheduling vote until the Big 12 resolves its future, perhaps later this month. The theory there is that a larger Big 12 would grow the pool of potential Power Five opponents.

But waiting on America’s most dysfunctional conference, the Big 12, is no way for the ACC to conduct business. Besides, two more Big 12 teams wouldn’t make ACC non-league scheduling that much easier.

Given that the Big 12 now appears to be stuck in neutral once more on expansion, a delay would do little good.

The ACC does have to make a decision this year, as ESPN wants this set if there is going to be an ACC Network. Teel writes that the ACC looks like it could go 9+1, but one thing could change the voting dynamic.

If ESPN expanded the Power Five pool to include the American Athletic Conference, 8+2 would become far more palatable and likely prevail. If not, momentum is building for 9+1.

Not sure ESPN would go for that at this point unless it also pushed out the start of the ACC Network later than 2019. Something no one in the ACC should or would want.

As for how the voting is looking at this point, per Teel:

Solidly for 8+2: FSU, Clemson, GT, Louisville and Duke

Solidly for 9+1: UNC, NC St., WF, Virginia, Boston College and Miami

BC now in the solidly 9+1 camp is not surprising, but it is a little surprising to see Miami supporting that as well. Just as it is with Duke.

I asked Teel why, and the answer is simply the AD at Duke supporting what the football coach, David Cutliffe wants. I understand to a degree, but Duke has not had a good non-con schedule history. It seems to be inviting a lot of headaches down the road for Duke if the 8+2 model prevailed.

That leaves 3 votes still up in the air. Per Teel, VT which had supported 8+2 before seems to now be leaning 9+1. The same is true for Pitt.

That leaves Virginia Tech’s Babcock, Pitt’s Scott Barnes and Syracuse’s John Wildhack, the latter two new to the conference since the 2014 vote. None has publicly revealed a preference, but Babcock and Barnes seem to be leaning toward 9+1, and if that’s where they land, change for the better is coming to ACC football.

I would speculate that Syracuse also favors 9+1. Especially with a new AD who had formerly been a high-ranking ESPN executive. Hopefully the numbers are correct, and the ACC pushes this forward this week.

I assume the ND game is not considered a conference game.

I find it funny that FSU and Miami having opposite opinons. Both have UF on their schedule (usually). It may have to do with FSU not having an issue selling out, but UM does.

Comment by wbb 10.03.16 @ 7:35 am

9+1 is absolutely the way to go. Current OOC P5 are..
2017 – PSU, OSU
2018 – ND, PSU
2019: PSU only
2020 – ND only
2021- TN only
2022 – TN, WVU
2023 – ND, WVU, Cinn*
2024 – WVU, Cinn*
2025 – ND, WVU

* Maybe P5 in B12.

So if 9+1 we have brutal schedule where we already have the two P5 in 2022, 23 & 25. Cincinnati on schedule 23 & 24, if they go to B12 that’s three P5 in 2023. Marshall on schedule for away game in 2020…need to buy that one out!

Comment by FG 10.03.16 @ 8:44 am

Have to go with the 9 + 1. Then we play all teams in the Atlantic once every 3 years vice once every 6 years; bonus that the ACC network gets more conference games.

Comment by HbgFrank 10.03.16 @ 12:01 pm

Agree with 9/1. More conference games serves to scale the opportunities to play for the conference championship and bowl seedings. Plus it’s predictable and we don’t have to beg and haggle the Nits of the world for one of the open dates. Now if they could just lance the boil and force ND to crap or get off the pot…………

Comment by wally 10.03.16 @ 1:56 pm

I also agree with the 9+1 group. Living in the south that means more opportunities to see games in person. It will also help build ACC rivalries with Atlantic Division schools. Would prefer to do away with cross over rival but do not see that happening. That would reduce the three year wait to 2 1/3 years for playing cross division opponents.

Comment by JohnTheListener 10.03.16 @ 2:32 pm

I’m still hoping for PSU and WVU every year.
So ‘Pipe dream’ I guess at this point.

9+1 would get my vote because of the crossover opponents more often.

Comment by Tackle Made by Hugh 10.03.16 @ 3:57 pm

Crossover games aren’t going anywhere & some schools are pushing for a second if they go to the 9+1. Mostly the NC schools because UNC-WF & Duke-NCSt only play once every 6 years & have even scheduled out of conference games because of the gap. The crossover games were always for the old ACC teams to continue rivalries.

Comment by Nick 10.03.16 @ 5:27 pm

We need our ‘cross-over’ rival. As Syracuse is one of the few games we count on, as being a ‘w’.

Long Live the Cross-over !

Comment by Emel 10.03.16 @ 5:28 pm

If anyone can make sense of Nard Dog’s press conference, let me know.

Comment by Emel 10.03.16 @ 5:31 pm

If you go 9+1, the Florida St and Clemson are never going to play any interesting ooc games outside of their rival and I think that hurts college football. And we need clarification on the Notre Dame situation. Miami rarely plays Florida and the the only reason Florida plays Florida St is its mandated by law.

Comment by Joel 10.03.16 @ 6:04 pm

Don’t follow this as much as I should but one thing I think the NCAA should do is rule that anyone who plays a D2 school (not sure what they call now – Villi) cannot be selected to a bowl, even Emel’s favorite the BBVVAAVBBCCNWSWNE Compass Bowl.

Comment by rkb 10.03.16 @ 6:05 pm

lol rkb….Otherwise known as the Tiny Toilet Bowl

Comment by Emel 10.03.16 @ 6:49 pm

Would like have Lsville as second cross-over with BC second choice.

Comment by FG 10.03.16 @ 9:09 pm

WATCH: Pat Narduzzi keeps hush about Jordan Whitehead

link to

Comment by Jackagain 10.03.16 @ 9:47 pm

I like 9-1, makes the conference stronger, unless we have WVU and PSU every year. Which won’t happen unless the state mandates Pitt vs PSU.

Comment by gc 10.04.16 @ 7:00 am

I am having trouble with this whole post. 9-1, 8-2 who cares?

Just play the best team available every year. More inter conference play the better when it comes to the power 5.

It would make for better TV and higher ratings if PITT played UCLA, Texas, or Mississippi every year instead of the non conference cup cakes.

Of course this goes for every team in a power 5.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 10.04.16 @ 4:43 pm

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