How the New ACC Should Look

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I was excited when the news broke that Louisville was joining the ACC.  My excitement tempered when John Swofford said that the Cardinals would likely take Maryland’s spot in the Atlantic Division, and their crossover opponent would be UVA.

Before I begin, please put all thoughts of conference realignment, the SEC, or the Big Ten out of your head.  Let’s just assume that the 14-school ACC, minus Maryland and plus Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville, is Virginia Tech’s long-term home.  I don’t know whether it will be or not, but for now it’s all just idle speculation.

With Maryland exiting and three new programs joining the league, I saw this as the prime opportunity for a full ACC reorganization of divisions and crossover rivals.  That’s why I was so excited when the Louisville news was announced, and so disappointed when I learned that they would just slide right into Maryland’s spot.

Just because it doesn’t appear to be happening now doesn’t mean that it won’t happen someday.  If I had the power to make all the decisions, I’d change up the divisions and the crossover opponents.  This article is about what I would do, if I were dictator of the ACC.  I’m going to give myself a few guidelines that I have adhere to during the process as well.

1: Florida State and Clemson must be in separate divisions.

2: Rivalry games must be left intact.

3: The divisions must be balanced based on football potential for each program.

There are eight games in the ACC that I feel need to be played.  If they weren’t played, then we would have an outcry from either the fans, administration, or the networks.  Those games are:

  • Florida State vs. Miami
  • Florida State vs. Clemson
  • Virginia Tech vs. Miami
  • Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
  • Virginia Tech vs. UVA
  • UNC vs. NC State
  • UNC vs. Duke
  • UNC vs. UVA

To get everyone to agree on a reorganized ACC, I feel like all eight of those games would have to be played, or at least as many of them as possible.

Once I set those guidelines for myself, I found the process to be pretty simple.  My divisions would look like this:

Atlantic: Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Pitt, Boston College and Wake Forest

Coastal: Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, UNC, NC State, Syracuse, Duke

Step one: Separate Florida State and Clemson.  Why?  These programs have the biggest stadiums, the biggest fan bases,