Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ACC Realignment Rumors

A modest proposal

College Game Balls pointed out yesterday that rumors abound about possible realignment of the ACC's football divisions. What he found was talk of Boston College and Maryland moving from the Atlantic to the Coastal with Miami and Georgia Tech moving from the Coastal to the Atlantic. This would create more of a true North-South division alignment.

I'm all for it as long as it means the Hokies don't have to play at Miami and at BC in the same season every two years. The new divisions CGB found would help a lot with travel and look like this:

Florida State
Georgia Tech
NC State
Wake Forest

Boston College
North Carolina
Virginia Tech

And my best guess for Interdivision Rivals:

BC -----> CU
DU -----> WF
MD -----> GT
NC -----> NCST
VA -----> FSU
VT -----> UM

If the Hokies continued to play Miami every year, the only real change to the schedule would be playing Maryland every year and playing Georgia Tech two out of every five years. The problem that arises is how to keep Tech from going to Boston and Miami every other year. The answer is simple. The Hokies will just need to do what Georgia Tech did when it played at Virginia Tech in consecutive years. I'm willing to have the Hokies travel to Boston back-to-back seasons in order for that to happen.

As Brian and Jeff at BC Interruption mention, none of this would happen until after the 2015 football season. But until then, it's fun to speculate.

BCI takes it one step too far

Brian's proposed division realignment looks similar to the one above, but he swaps UNC for Wake as well, which in my opinion would never fly because it makes too much sense. Brian backs up his proposal with all these "facts" and "numbers". But on paper, just looking at the names, the ACC South looks MUCH more difficult than the ACC North. Therefore, it would never pass inspection if it were ever voted on.

Brian's ACC Divisions:

ACC North
Virginia Tech (.781)
Boston College (.656)
Wake Forest (.563)
Virginia (.500)
Maryland (.469)
Duke (.031)

ACC South
Georgia Tech (.656)
Clemson (.563)
Florida State (.531)
Miami (FL) (.469)
North Carolina (.406)
NC State (.375)

Those numbers to the right of each school are winning percentages since BC joined in 2005. But if you factor in tradition and the average North Carolinian's perception of ACC football, Brian's divisions suddenly look like this:

ACC North
yankee invaders
wake forest
worst team evar

ACC South
DA U!!!

That doesn't seem like a balanced ACC now, does it? It'll never happen. So, while Brian's divisions would be nice, let's just hope for the first ACC South-North alignment that was discovered by CGB. At least then the conference doesn't have to worry about trying to explain why teams are in their current confusing divisions.

Why wait?

What I would prefer is for the conference to expedite the realignment. Just because it announced the football schedule through 2015 doesn't mean it has to let it run its course. Hell, the schedule's enough to figure out it could announce the schedule through 2050 it wanted to. The schedule repeats itself every five years. It's not the square root of pi.

The ACC should just do what everyone else in the country is doing. Blame the economy. But placing the blame on "travel budgets need to be scaled back" the conference can implement new North-South divisions without any batting an eye. Hell, it would be applauded. Get it done.

Putting it off seven seasons would hurt realignment. By then, Obama could have the economy fixed and ACC fans would forget why we were going to realign in the first place and put the kibosh on the whole thing. The ACC needs to act now in case a perfectly good excuse to fix the mess it put us in in the first place goes away (hopefully).


Brian said...

Swapping UNC for Wake Forest moves all the current permanent rivals within each division. If you moved ALL those games to be divisional matchups, they mean even more to the teams since they have divisional race implications.

Case in point: What did BC beating VT the past two years in the regular season mean to BC other than getting to 5 wins and winning the Atlantic? NOTHING! It was just another ACC win and could have been against Duke for all intents and purposes, because we lost to you guys in the rematch (ACCCG). If that is a divisional game, it provides a lot more meaning to a nice little rivalry game that has developed between the Eagles and the Hokies.

And if you move all the current permanent rivals intradivision, you could ultimately do away with that silly arrangement and adopt the Big XII's schedule format.

Also, I'm not buying the "one side of the ACC would be too imbalanced so it will never fly" argument.

Recently, how has having Georgia, Florida and Tennessee in the same division hurt the SEC? It absolutely didn't hurt them at all, since UGA was whining about going 10-2 (6-2) and not getting a shot at the BCS NCG. Same with OU-UT-TTU last year in the Big XII South. Those controversies are great for the conference because EVERYONE is talking about their conference and who got snubbed from the BCS NCG, BCS at-larges, etc.

Something the ACC has been severely lacking the last few years has been a BCS NCG / BCS at-large controversy. Might just be the shot in the arm this conference needs ...

furrer4heisman said...

Dude, I agree with you that it makes more sense your way. I just doubt the odds of it being implemented because the folks at Clemson and Georgia Tech will cry foul about their division being too difficult.

I also like the idea of a perfect shuffle of the deck to where the interdivision "rivals" move into the same division. The only thing I don't like is it means we don't play Miami every year.

Brian said...

Yes, the plan is too perfect. Seems like we are stuck with this permanent rival set up (I can hear the Oklahoma and Nebraska fans crying foul over the 5 + 3), and I forgot about Virginia Tech vs. Miami (FL). How about new permanent rivals under my alignment as follows:

Virginia Tech vs. Miami (FL)
Duke vs. North Carolina
Boston College vs. Clemson
Wake Forest vs. Florida State
Maryland vs. NC State
Virginia vs. Georgia Tech

With UVA-GT being the weakest of the bunch.

Winfield Featherston said...

I like that rumored alignment. Playing FSU every year would be a major major plus. I don't care what else would happen.

Anonymous said...

Easy to fix.

Southern Division

North Carolina State
Wake Forest
Georgia Tech
Florida State
Miami Hurricanes

Northern Division

North Carolina
Virginia Tech
Boston College

If the 4 North Carolina University's want a "play 1 (or 2) team(s) from the opposite division" rule against each other every year, more power to them! But the other 10 University's shouldn't have to play teams from the opposite division every year just because the North Carolina teams wants it. Look at the Pac-12, only the 4 California teams have that rule, the non California teams don't.