According to reports, the ACC is considering removing divisions

According to reports, the ACC is considering removing divisions

The possibility of overhauling the Atlantic Coast Conference’s football scheduling process, including the abolition of the Atlantic and Coastal divisions, is being discussed at this week’s meetings.

The Atlantic and Coastal divisions could be permanently eliminated as early as the 2023 season for the purpose of altering conference schedules such that ACC opponents in opposite divisions can meet more frequently.

Since 2005, when the ACC expanded with the addition of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College from the Big East, the football rankings have been divided into Atlantic and Coastal divisions. With the exception of the COVID-19 2020 season, when divisional boundaries were temporarily halted, the ACC Championship Game has been staged yearly between the winners of the Atlantic and Coastal divisions.

In Virginia’s case, under the current scheduling model, UVA plays each of its six Coastal rivals (Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech) as well as Louisville as a recurring opponent every season. That means that the Cavaliers only play the other six teams in the Atlantic Division once every six seasons.

Such scheduling anomalies could be prevented with the elimination of divisions in the ACC. Thamel reports that there are multiple proposals for new scheduling models on the table. One model proposes that each ACC team would have three permanent opponents within the conference and then having the remaining five conference games against the other conference opponents on a rotating basis.

The outcome of this model is that each team goes several years without facing some teams in the opposite division of the conference and even longer without hosting those teams. Virginia has not hosted Clemson since 2013 and has not played Syracuse at all since 2015, the lone meeting between the two teams since the Orange joined the ACC. In the 2021 season, UVA hosted Wake Forest for the first time since 2012.

Another model would be to have each ACC team have two permanent opponents with the other six ACC games against rotating opponents, which would allow each ACC team to host every other team at minimum once every four years.

 

 

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