Like the SEC recently (here), the ACC has chosen to remain at eight league games, with the caveat that beginning in 2017, all teams must play at least one non-league game against a Power 5 conference opponent.
The Atlantic Coast Conference will remain at eight league games, commissioner John Swofford said Monday from the ACC’s spring meetings.
The league’s athletic directors voted to remain at eight conference games, but teams must play at least one nonconference game against a team from a power five conference starting in 2017.
The ACC already has a scheduling agreement where five league teams will play Notre Dame annually. Those games would count toward teams’ nonconference power five commitment.
Swofford said schools could continue to schedule Football Championship Subdivision opponents. He added that it hadn’t been determined if independents BYU and Army (Navy joins the Big East in 2015) would count toward the nonconference power five commitment.
There had been growing momentum in recent months toward moving to nine conference games, as athletic directors began to rethink their options with the upcoming College Football Playoff as well as imbalanced division crossover slates. The vote ended 8-6 in favor of staying at eight games. All the league needs is a simple majority to make its decisions.
So, here are a few comments/questions:
*Did this model essentially kill any possible ACC/SEC scheduling alliance where the ACC would remain at eight league games plus one SEC opponent each season (more background here)? At the very least, we would’ve gotten a home game against an Arkansas or Ole Miss every other year.
*Keep in mind, State’s schedule would meet this criteria for the 2014 season (at South Florida), but not yet for 2015. In 2016, Notre Dame would count towards this requirement.
*Programs like Memphis are the ones who truly benefit from this, simply because they’ll have more leverage to force a home-and-home from an ACC team.
*It shows how committed — desperate, perhaps — ADs are to create wins by keeping more control of the schedule with four non-conference games. It also reinforces the trend we’ve seen over the past two decades: proliferating TV contracts are great for college football fans watching at home, but not so much for season ticket (and more so LTR) owners at mid-tier programs (like State).