ACC Releases Rotating Crossover Opponents Schedule Through 2024

Matchups Like Clemson/Virginia Tech Will Be A Lot Less Frequent Going Forward

Cross-Divisional Matchups Like Clemson/Virginia Tech Will Be A Lot Less Frequent Going Forward

I’ve written about this elsewhere, so I’ll keep this post brief; just wanted to make sure I got a post up about it, and provided links to team-centric reactions where applicable.

Yesterday, the ACC announced its scheduling matrix for rotating divisional crossover opponents from the 2014 season through 2024. With two seven-team divisions, it’s nothing too complicated. Each team simply plays the six other schools in its own division, plus one permanent crossover (make it stop!) and a rotating crossover. The result, unfortunately, is only playing schools in the same conference once every six years (and once every 12 at home). So for those keeping track at home, ACC schools will play Notre Dame more often in a 12-year stretch than they’ll play schools in the opposite division. “TOTALLY MAKES SENSE.”

Everyone has some gripes here and there — specifically the North Carolina schools, some of whom fall victim to the situation described above — but on the bright side, it’s nice to have a decade’s-worth of football opponents already set in stone. Sadly, it does kill off any big ideas for divisional realignment, which is another major downside to all of this. Still, check out the graphic the league put together (they’re getting very good at these):

ACC FOotball Opponents 2014-2024 Divisional Crossover Rivals Atlantic Coastal Rotating

(click to enlarge)

Below you can read up on team-by-team reactions over on SB Nation, including the Syracuse perspective which was penned by yours truly yesterday afternoon.

Boston College: BC Interruption

Florida State: Tomahawk Nation

NC State: Backing the Pack

North Carolina: Tar Heel Blog

Pittsburgh: Cardiac Hill

Syracuse: Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician

Any additional thoughts? Share your complaints/suggestions to make things better below!

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7 thoughts on “ACC Releases Rotating Crossover Opponents Schedule Through 2024

  1. This is a terrible scheduling system.

    If scheduling ND is such a problem for Clemson, FSU, and GT that the ACC had to roll back the 9 game schedule to 8 games I would just opt them out of the ND rotation and move back to 9 conference games. Then you could construct Notre Dame’s 5 game agreement as follows.

    Annual Opponents

    Boston College

    6-Year Home and Home rotation (3 per year)

    North Carolina
    NC State
    Virginia Tech
    Wake Forest

    Under that system, ACC teams play each other more often, Clemson, FSU, and GT, get to keep their SEC games and a maximum of 10 BCS-level opponents a year (the same number each played in 2012 [I’m counting BYU as BCS-level]), ND gets their traditional opponents more often, and the teams without an instate SEC rival get a semi-regular series with ND.

    • I guess the question then is how do you determine who goes to the championship game in the case of Boston College and Florida State having the same number of wins (let’s say six), but BC is 6-3 while FSU’s 6-2? FSU had one less chance to lose a game and would have the better winning percentage. But would that be fair?

      I do really like the idea you’ve got up there, but just curious to see what happens when something like the situation I described happens.

      • Everyone would play 9 ACC games. 8 conference games is just an unreasonable demand in today’s college football world. I know the three teams that play SEC opponents annually (particularly FSU) want three body bag opponents coming to their place every year, but that’s just not a realistic scenario in today’s landscape. When you get down to it. Without a scheduling agreement with another conference for the member not playing ND or their annual SEC rival, the current ACC schedule is designed specifically to boost the strength of schedule (and gate revenue and television exposure) of Clemson, FSU, and GT at the expense of the rest of the conference. It’s the kind of inequitable treatment that nearly destroyed the Big 12 and will destroy the ACC if something isn’t done about it.

        • I don’t necessarily think this is the same as the Big 12 situation. Plus, with the GOR, there’s also no immediate danger for the ACC…

          Yes, catering to Clemson, Georgia Tech and FSU here is a bit inequitable, but not ridiculously so. And for the most part, it’s not as if the league has a history of doing favorable things for those schools. They have non-conference rivalries they want to maintain, and they’d like to avoid being locked into 11 games to start the seasons in which they’re in Notre Dame’s rotation (nine ACC games, SEC rival + ND). From their point of view, I can completely understand why they’d like to avoid that. Provides zero flexibility, a gauntlet of a schedule and also potentially sets up seasons in which they’re only collecting gate receipts for six home games.

          If they want to opt out of the Notre Dame agreement, it would solve most issues, but I don’t see that happening. Notre Dame’s a draw for these schools, and these schools are a draw for Notre Dame. Hurts the value of the agreement to remove those three.

        • It’s true that not getting ND hurts the value of the agreement for those three schools, but dropping to 8 games hurts the value for the remaining 12 schools. Clemson, FSU, and GT get their annual SEC opponents plus a semi-regular game with ND while the rest of the conference is left to try to scrape together top quality opponents to fill the void in their schedule in a landscape where three of the other four conferences are at or going to 9 game schedules and they have to work around the ND scheduling arrangement that’s only announced three years in advance. It’s not an equitable situation. To paraphrase Mr. Spock, it’s the needs of the few outweighing the needs of the many. I’d be genuinely shocked if the schedule system announced yesterday holds up through a single rotation or even a half rotation. The other twelve teams will get tired of the “chosen three” getting extra television exposure and gate revenue from their guaranteed marquee games and either force a 9-game schedule or a contracted scheduling arrangement with another conference.

  2. Of course, a compromise solution could be to go to 9 conference games but count Notre Dame as a cross-divisional game for the standings. That way teams playing permanent out of conference rivals wouldn’t have to worry about their turn in the Notre Dame rotation locking them into 11 though games. As far as I can tell, there are no NCAA rules prohibiting it. The only rule I’m aware of regarding divisional play is the one stating that each team must play every other team in their division in order to hold a conference championship game. Since Notre Dame is a member of the ACC but not a member of a division, they would be ineligible for the conference championship, but they could be treated as a cross-divisional opponent. That is unless there is some rule I’m unaware of that prohibits members playing partial schedules from counting towards conference standings.

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