NGSC Sports

ACC: Considering a nine game league schedule

With the realignment of the conference just about over, the Atlantic Coast Conference is now trying to figure out just how many league games there members want to play. From an outsiders point of view, this might seem like an easy decision to make, but when you have several people in the same room and potential with different thoughts on the subject, something that might sounds easy become real difficulty to decide upon.
What we know is this, the ACC is one of only two power five conferences to play an eight game football schedule, the other being the SEC. The two leagues do have games that pit schools from each league against one another in the final weekend of the season. The question becomes, would the rest of the conferences want to play games against each other if not on the final weekend of the season, than at some point during the season. If the answer is yes, than the problem is solved, but if the answer is no, then some out of the box thinking by the ACC may be needed to come up with the right answer.
One thing is for sure, it is getting harder and harder for teams to schedule non-conference opponents, and for power five leagues like the ACC the task can be even more difficult. With the new college football playoff system set to begin in the fall of 2014, strength of schedule could become an important factor when deciding which teams make the four team playoff and which do not. With leagues having bowl tie-ins with games that are not part of the playoff set up, strength of schedule could mean the difference between being a bowl team or spending the holidays at home.
So what makes more sense? Trying to find a non league opponent that could help your strength of schedule, while still playing someone you should beat? Or playing a team from within your own conference that may not be a given? It’s a tough decision that each school in the ACC will have to make and it’s not an easy choice for sure.
The idea of adding an extra game to the league’s schedule is getting support from the Commissioner John Swofford, who has told media outlets that the proposal “is considerably supported”. But league head coaches are not quite sold on the idea. Sources have said that the thought of an extra game is still “very undecided “and “wide open”. The final say on the matter will rest with the athletic directors of the schools, who will get the chance to vote on the final proposal.
There is no question this is an important decision for the ACC to make, that involved not just the new playoff system but also television, and the possibility of an ACC network down the road. It could be said that an extra game in the league could also help to generate more income for the member schools, and what school would say no to that? Either way, when the league meetings take place in Amelia Island, Florida in May, there will be plenty to talk about and think over for the league schools. If a yes vote is given to the nine game idea the earliest it could become reality would be the 2016 season. That should give the conference enough time to figure out how to put the plan into action, as well as how to fit Notre Dame into the rotation, since the Irish are only planning to play a five game league schedule.
For the ACC’s members, the trip to Florida will be more about the future of the league and not about having fun in the sun.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: