The ACC voted on Wednesday to stick with the current football schedule format, thanks to a last-minute “go ahead” from ESPN.
— ACC Football (@theACCfootball) October 5, 2016
As part of the creation of the ACC Network, the athletic directors were forced to consider two different scheduling options that would give ESPN more high-value content. The first option would have teams playing eight-game conference schedules with two games vs. Power 5 teams (8+2). The other option was to have teams play nine-game conference schedules, with one game vs. a Power 5 school (9+1).
Due to various reasons, the athletic directors couldn’t agree on either one of the options. Schools like Florida State and Clemson opposed the 9+1 model due to contracted obligations with rival non-conference schools. David Teel of the Daily Press reported that as of Monday, support for the 9+1 model had been building. However, with the chance of deadlock, ESPN told ACC Commissioner John Swofford that the network would settle for the original scheduling model, despite preferring the two alternatives the ACC was originally considering.
The Virginia Tech Athletic Department declined to comment on the vote.