June 18, 2015

ACC Divisional Alignment

I know I should be talking about baseball right now.  Believe me, baseball is pretty much all I'm thinking about!  But now that it's out that Nathan Kirby is starting tomorrow's game against Florida, there isn't much to say or pontificate upon.  We feel like a team of destiny.  We look like a team of destiny.  We feel like a team of destiny.  Two chances to beat Florida once, I like those odds... but the Gators might be (probably are) the best team in the country.  But we feel like a team of destiny.

I'll give the Hoos a 50-50 shot, really, a coin flip's chance, to beat the Gators once in the next two games and advance to the championship series.

For a team of destiny, I like those odds!


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For now, with a focus on football, let's talk about divisional alignment in the ACC.  (I know, awkward, jarring transition.  Don't care.  My blog.)

Here's the current divisional alignment in the ACC:

ATLANTIC
Boston College
Clemson
Florida State
Louisville
NC State
Syracuse
Wake Forest

COASTAL
Duke
Georgia Tech
Miami
North Carolina
Pittsburgh
Virginia
Virginia Tech

The current crossover rivalries are:
  • Boston College / Virginia Tech
  • Clemson / Georgia Tech
  • Florida State / Miami
  • Louisville / Virginia
  • NC State / North Carolina
  • Syracuse / Pittsburgh
  • Wake Forest / Duke


ACC teams play every other team in their division once (6 games), their permanent crossover rival once (+1 game = 7 total), and then rotate through the remaining six teams, one per year (+1 game = 8 total).  Many fans think it sucks that it's possible to go a full five years - HALF A DECADE! - without playing a specific member of your conference.  I am one of those people.  For example, as much as awful as it is to watch us get our asses kicked by Clemson and FSU, I think it's somehow worse to think we won't see Klempsun again 'til 2020 or the Semenholes again 'til 2019.  We share a conference for shit's sake!  We should be playing each other more often!

I guess the other side of that coin is that I don't give two figs if Virginia ever plays BC, L'Ville, Syracuse, Miami, or Pitt.  Fine opponents, sure.  Good conference-mates.  But those football games mean nothing to me.

Anyway, halting this digression... It sounds like the ACC wants to stick with its scheduling model, at least for now.  But it also sounds like it's open to tinkering with the divisions.  Hence this Wahooze post.


Before I plow in, you have some required reading.


Teel Time: An easy divisional change to enhance ACC football, create VT-Clemson rivalry

ATLANTIC
Boston College
Clemson
Florida State
Georgia Tech
NC State
Syracuse
Wake Forest

COASTAL
Duke
Louisville
Miami
North Carolina
Pittsburgh
Virginia
Virginia Tech

Teel floated his idea last spring, and I think it's a decent concept... as far as band-aids go.  It's elegant and simple, and carries some tangible benefit.

Swapping L'ville and GT would:
  • Give the ACC an annual FSU/GT game, a ratings win for the conference.
  • Allow for a VT/Clemson crossover rivalry, another annual game that's a ratings win for the conference.
  • Establish BC as UVA's annual crossover.  I think that's a slightly easier SoS piece for the Hoos, essentially swapping Georgia Tech for Boston College.
  • Make FSU and Clemson - potentially the ACC's biggest flight risks - happy.
But I ultimately don't like it because it would set Virginia up to play annual games against five members of the "New ACC" (VT, Miami, L'ville, Pitt, BC) with only two annual games against the "Old ACC" (UNC, Duke).  Personally, I want as many annual games against the Old ACC as we can get.  So for me, Teel's idea is a non-starter, strictly from a Hoofan's perspective.


ESPN: Having fun with ACC division realignment

ESPN Option 1: Rivalries housed within the divisions.

ATLANTIC
Boston College
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Louisville
Miami
Pittsburgh
Syracuse

COASTAL
Duke
Clemson
NC State
North Carolina
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest

I love this idea for Virginia, but think that Florida State would hate it -- it'd give them five games against the New ACC.  Plus, all of those Big East teams didn't join the ACC so they could start playing Big East teams with ACC logos on their fields.  So it's probably a non-starter.  HOWEVER, going with this alignment would allow for the elimination of the crossover rivals, opening up the scheduling so that each team would play every other team at least every three years.  I like that component quite a bit... but the ACC losing the inventory of an annual FSU/Clemson game isn't good for the conference.


ESPN Option 2: Balanced divisions.

ATLANTIC
Boston College
Clemson
Louisville
Pittsburgh
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Syracuse

COASTAL
Duke
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Miami
NC State
North Carolina
Wake Forest

Nutshell, six of the 14 ACC teams are "New ACC."  If any more than three of those six teams end up in Virginia's division, I am going to hate it.  With ESPN's second option, we get five of them, PLUS we would lose The South's Oldest Rivalry.  No thanks.


ACC Football Rx: Unequal Divisions?

GROUP OF 6
Clemson
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Louisville
Miami
Wake Forest

GROUP OF 8
Boston College
Duke
NC State
North Carolina
Pittsburgh
Syracuse
Virginia
Virginia Tech

Interesting.  Very fucking interesting.  I like it!  But it's way too complex and nuanced for the mouthbreathing idiots who are fans of some of these ACC schools to be able to grasp (a nod toward Blacksburg).


There are lots of other blog posts and sports page columns and opinion pieces about this topic that you can dig through the internet to find.  Like assholes, everyone has one!  As in, everyone has an idea for ACC Divisional Alignment.  I have an asshole too, and it poops shit!  Here we go...

THE WAHOOZE MODEL for ACC ALIGNMENT

ATLANTIC
Duke
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Louisville
Miami
Syracuse
Wake Forest

COASTAL
Boston College
Clemson
North Carolina
NC State
Pittsburgh
Virginia
Virginia Tech


Keep crossover rivals, which would look like this:
  • Duke / North Carolina
  • Florida State / Clemson
  • Georgia Tech / Virginia
  • Louisville / Pittsburgh
  • Miami / Virginia Tech
  • Syracuse / Boston College
  • Wake Forest / NC State

Boom.

Okay, discuss.




3 comments:

  1. So we're losing Miami, AKA the only team we can beat?

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  2. I'm mildly flattered that you found my "Unequal Divisions" idea "interesting". This gives me hope that the rest of the ACC will understand it (I wouldn't worry about the folks in Blacksburg if I were you [smile]).

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    Replies
    1. All in good fun, mi amigo!

      No, I really like your idea. My absolute favorite, though, is relegation. An ACC upper division and an ACC lower division. But that would torpedo rivalry games in any given season unless the ACC office did schedule triage every offseason.

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