ACC plans to vote on a rotating schedule model and eliminate football divisions in time for the 2023 season

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The ACC plans to vote on a 3-5-5 scheduling model with three permanent opponents and a rotating slate of home-and-home games with five other opponents, Commissioner Jim Phillips said Wednesday. The league hopes to make a decision on a scheduling format before the 2023 schedule is released.

“We’re very much on track (to make a decision) but again we want to make sure we’re talking to everyone to see if we’re missing something here.” Phillips saidadding the ACC didn’t work”want to stay in limbo forever” about whether divisions should be abolished.

A no-divisions scheduling model could preserve rivalries while maximizing opportunities to play against notable conference opponents. For example, the state of North Carolina might have ongoing rivalries with the other North Carolina schools: North Carolina, Duke, and Wake Forest. Then the rest of the schedule would be split into five-team groups that would rotate.

Currently, the ACC system is divided into Atlantic and Coastal divisions, with only two crossover games per year. North Carolina and Wake Forest, in particular, hosted a bizarre nonconference series in 2019 and 2021 to add additional matchups with their state rivals before the ACC schedule finally sent them to face off as part of the 2022 conference roster.

Pivots to Eliminate requirement for division and conference championship games were discussed by the NCAA. Current bylaws require that each conference of 12 or more members hold a conference championship game with the winner of two divisions. However, the structure may be more difficult to justify as conferences continue to grow.

For example, the SEC has a system with one permanent cross-area opponent and only one other cross-area game. The structure means that other cross-divisional teams only play each other twice over a 12-year period. With a 3-5-5 structure, every four-year-old player would be guaranteed to play at every conference venue over the course of his career. ACC plans to vote on a rotating schedule model and eliminate football divisions in time for the 2023 season

Justin Scacco

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