SFN recently asked Debbie Yow about the current non-conference scheduling policy (click here for a refresher). She commented that the ACC is discussing “alternate scheduling models,” which could have been a reference to the once-planned nine-game league schedule that was scrapped once Notre Dame became a partial member (more info about this recently in the AJC here).
Today, ESPN reported — in its usual “sources say” fashion — that the ACC and SEC are discussing a scheduling alliance where the ACC would play eight league games plus one SEC team each season (ESPN):
In addition to considering a nine-game conference schedule, ACC officials have also broached the idea of a model in which conference teams would play eight league games and one SEC opponent every season, according to several sources from both conferences.
Four schools in the ACC — Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson and incoming member Louisville — already have built-in SEC rival games during the final week of the regular season.
An SEC source told ESPN.com that the ACC’s idea of an “8+1 model” was merely a concept that had been discussed only once and was a long way from being a reality. It was so premature, he said, that most athletic directors in the SEC hadn’t even been briefed on it.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive told ESPN.com through a spokesman that his conference wants to create a scheduling format to take effect in 2016, but no details have been finalized.
“Achieving that objective involves exploring as many options as possible, which we are currently doing,” Slive said. “Anything more is pure speculation.”
The SEC source said he did not see a scenario to which all 14 SEC schools would agree, but there may be one in which the SEC could match some teams against the ACC, particularly if those SEC teams were having trouble finding suitable BCS nonconference opponents.
It is unlikely that the SEC would make all its teams play the ACC on the final week of the season, when Auburn-Alabama already headlines the show. Also, two SEC sources said the conference was also considering more regular matchups with Big 12 teams.
The ACC and SEC will be the last conferences among the power five that do not play nine-game league schedules. The Big Ten will go to nine conference games in 2016.
On Tuesday, ACC commissioner John Swofford told ESPN.com that there “is considerable support” for a nine-game schedule, but ACC coaches had a teleconference Thursday and one described their sentiments as “very undecided” and “wide open.”
The league’s athletic directors will have the final vote, and they will also consider the ACC’s new five-game annual partnership with Notre Dame.
“That’s an important decision we’ll need to make in the near future,” Swofford said. “… Several factors come into play there. One is the college football playoffs; what serves us best in terms of giving our teams the best opportunity to be in the playoff; and what gives us the most opportunities going forward television-wise, and how does that fold into any discussions about a potential channel. Those are discussions that will continue.”
Love that this ACC-SEC scheduling idea is being discussed but skeptical it will actually come to fruition. http://t.co/82CwZUPCKd
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) February 7, 2014
Duke vs. Vandy UNC vs. Miss NCSU vs. A&M Wake vs. Miss. St. VT vs. UT UVa vs. Auburn Cuse vs. Mizzou UM vs. LSU Pitt vs. Ark BC vs. Alabama
— Joe Ovies (@joeovies) February 7, 2014
Quacko votes State @ Arkansas in 2016, where he will host the pig- and Woodford Reserve-filled tailgate in Fayetteville — unless they play in Little Rock instead.