Earlier this summer I wrote why the Atlantic Coast Conference should stop delaying the inevitable and go to nine conference football games. After all, it was more than willing to increase its basketball inventory to 20 conference games per season starting in 2019.
However, after examining things more closely, I came to the following conclusions. One, I was wrong as hell. Two, the ACC should stick to eight games.
And thankfully for ACC football fans, the conference did just that.
Yesterday commissioner/Ultimate Ninja John Swofford and the gang voted to stay with the 8+1 scheduling model over the 9+1 and 8+2 alternatives. They chose status quo and flexibility over all else. And given that they would have received what amounted to pennies on the dollar in the form of incentives from ESPN, I’d say it was the right call.
We all know that the Big Ten, Pac-12 and dead conference walking Big 12 are plying nine conference games. And while it originally seemed great for the ACC to follow suit, it would have been more difficult to have sexier out of conference matchups.
Clemson would have a harder time scheduling the Auburns and Georgias of the world in addition to keeping its games with in-state SEC rival South Carolina. Same goes for Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Louisville.
As soon as Notre Dame was added to the scheduling rotation, it would have been astronomically harder for Clemson, FSU, Louisville and Ga. Tech to schedule aggressively going forward with a nine-game conference schedule. And if football powers Clemson and FSU are not happy, look the hell out.
Sure, it would be nice for conference members to play each more often. I get it, I really do.
But in this day and age of college football, sexy matchups sells more than Wake Forest-Virgina and Boston College-Duke.
In the meantime, someone needs to kick my alma mater NC State in the ass and tell it to schedule more Power 5 out of conference foes. Old Dominion and William and Mary?! REALLY???