I got this question from @MikeBonfanti (A big FSU fan) on twitter today. Right after that @NoleFan86 said the call was obvious to make. These are a couple of Nole fans I have had some good twitter conversation in the past and I respect their opinions.
On this one, I’m on board with this or a possible scheduling alliance with the SEC. Back in May one of my favorite SEC blogs Mr.SEC suggested such a SEC/ACC partnership. What’s driving some of this conversation?
Well it was the recent breakdown of the near certain Pac 12/Big 10 scheduling alliance. The Chicago Tribune reports the Big 10 schedule is basically starting over as it comes to their schedules. It’s time for John Swofford to start investigating this possibility if they haven’t done so already.
The tricky part in all of this as it was with the Pac 12/Big 10 scheduling is that Pac 12 wants 9 conference games and the Big 10 was at 8. The ACC is currently at 9, and three ACC teams Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech are locked into games with in-state SEC rivals Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia. This was the rift in the Pac 12. Some Pac 12 teams had yearly opponents like Notre Dame scheduled and didn’t want 11 tough games. This would somewhat lend itself to the SEC/ACC scheduling alliance as 3 teams are already matched up, which would leave ACC teams 2 more games to schedule as they wish.
The other scenario is for the ACC to go back down to 8 conference games, and the two lowest finishing ACC teams being left out of next year’s partner schedule. For example Florida State would get a yearly game with Florida then maybe a Wisconsin and the issue of strength of schedule would never come up. Do you lose a game with a cross division rival? Yeah that’s a loss but something has to give here.
If I was John Swofford these are a couple of scenarios what I would bring to the University presidents…
1) Recommend a scheduling alliance with the SEC and a 9 game conference schedule. Use the partnership with Notre Dame to create a pre-season game Charlotte as the GreenvilleOnline.com suggested. If you can past a couple of errors in the article, I love the idea. To their credit the according to the article the ACC has considered such a game already.
2) Recommend a schedule alliance with the Big 10 and an 8 game conference schedule. If you lose a conference game, you just gained a several games of national interest. The Big 10 is looking for a partner. Why not the ACC? Yes the 9 game ACC schedule was decided on February, but given the current new developments of the new playoffs and Big 10/Pac 12 partner schedule dissolving I would think everything is back on the table.
Look at this year for example as West Virginia put Florida State in a scheduling snafu by backing out of their game, while Clemson and Georgia upped the cancellation fee for their 2013 2014 games to $ 3 Million dollars.
Sounds like to me it would be beneficial to form scheduling alliances to ensure quality Out of Conference games for the ACC teams.