Syracuse AD pushing for 9-game schedule, more cross-division games

Discussion of scheduling issues placed on the agenda for ACC's meetings in late January

Clemson's Germone Hopper tries to catch a ball near Syracuse's Julian Whigham during the second quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Germone Hopper tries to catch a ball near Syracuse's Julian Whigham during the second quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross wants a change to the Atlantic Coast Conference's current eight-game league schedule and league officials will discuss the possibility during meetings in late January.

Gross raised the possibility in email to the league's athletic directors and commissioner John Swofford. The email was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request and it calls for a discussion on the subject due to the large time gap between road games involving cross-division teams.

The Syracuse AD contends that certain programs are at a disadvantage when the schedule keeps them from regularly playing in major markets such as Boston, Atlanta and Miami.

One of Gross' suggestion is to have a nine-game conference schedule. The five conference teams that are left off one year must be on the schedule the following season.

That would likely eliminate some of the yearly rivalry games like Florida State-Miami.

"There are some playing-partner scheduling that simply don't need to be maintained," Gross wrote. "In fact I believe it would be in the best interest to prioritize playing multiple members of the conference over having a playing partner.

"I do understand creating rivalry inventory; however, it may be better to be more creative with the rivalry concept annually than to force them over the long term."

North Carolina State athletic director Deborah Yow responded to Gross' email and confirmed that the topic will be placed on the agenda. She declined to elaborate on the subject when contacted by the AP.

Gross also declined to go into detail about the email, saying in a text, "It would be inappropriate for me to comment on working group conference items."

The eight-game format dictates that each team plays its entire division every year. There is also one standing game against an opponent from the opposite division. For example, Florida State plays Miami every year, as do North Carolina State and North Carolina, and Duke and Wake Forest. Each team also rotates through programs from the opposite division both home and away.

So Syracuse played Georgia Tech in Atlanta this season, but the Orange won't return for that game until 2027 at the earliest. Gross said this limits the exposure of teams in certain major markets.

Gross also believes there is also an effect on recruiting. He used Miami, known as a hotbed for talent, as an example. Teams from the Atlantic Division, except Florida State, have large gaps between games in Miami.

"The thought of a student-athlete returning to his home area to play in front of his family is minimized in one division and maximized in the other," Gross wrote.

Gross did have a section of the email labeled "Final Thoughts" that stated, "If we played everyone in the league equally our schedules would be much more robust giving our fans diverse schedules annually. Also our student-athletes would get exposures in all markets of the conference. Lastly we could maximize our television inventory by offering multiple and fresh matchups."

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Comments » 7

greersc writes:

Typical Yankee. We invite you into a conference where you are a lot better off than you were before and you immediately start trying to dictate how things get managed.

MoncksTater writes:

He makes a valid point though. If Clemson weren't such a football oriented school and in a good market ATL/Charlottethen we might feel the same way. Recruiting is not a problem when you have oir fanbase , our campus and our stadium.
Maybe they should do away with teams in the FBS playing teams in the FCS altogether...then throw in an Arkansas or a Kentucky here or there so we can still beat sorry teams like the Coots and claim our schedule is so tough.

clmtgr92 writes:

Dear Syracuse,

It's not going to happen.

Signed

The original members of the ACC

He is only bringing this up because he has Clemson, FSU, and Louisville blocking his way every year. Plus, Syracuse has no natural rival in the ACC.

BrandonRink writes:

in response to clmtgr92:

Dear Syracuse,

It's not going to happen.

Signed

The original members of the ACC

He is only bringing this up because he has Clemson, FSU, and Louisville blocking his way every year. Plus, Syracuse has no natural rival in the ACC.

What's interesting is he really isn't pushing for new divisions, so Clemson-FSU-Louisville would still be in their path.

Really, he could be making their path harder year-to-year with another conference game depending on how the roulette wheel spins.

The TV market stuff is overrated to me too. Does he really think Georgia Tech delivers the Atlanta market? Seriously?

It's just odd, but of course, Gross didn't think these emails would be published - and they'd just have these talks behind closed doors.

KIMOSAMI writes:

This Syracuse crowd is a mouthy one. Remember the coach during the game...making an azz of himself. Then the announcer(McDonough)suggesting that Dabo was running up the score by trying to score at the end of the FIRST HALF. McDonough is a Syracuse grad and acted way,way unprofessionally.

Now this clown's act wants us to screw up the schedule for the rest of us because he is delusional enough to believe a nine game schedule will benefit him.

Something may be stinking here.....could be a trick by Swofford to reintroduce the nine game schedule.

Bigboots writes:

I'd take a 9 game schedule if it means we don't waste another Saturday playing Furman, The Citadel, SC State, Wofford, et als.
Fine schools. Fine whatever. Should not be on our schedule.

tigerrob44 writes:

Ain't nobody from Miami going to school anywhere close to New York, especially Syracuse, NY. This guys dough must not be done!

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