The nine-game schedule may be back. Some of the more radical changes are tabled, at least for now.
Earlier last week, the ACC sent a “piece of legislation” that could change up the current college football championship rules. Those rules call for at least 12 teams, even divisions and members of the divisions all playing each other in a given season.
But that’s about as far as that front will go in the conference winter meetings. Another one not-so-friendly to Clemson is gaining steam.
Longtime ACC writer David Teel reports there’s consensus among the ACC ADs on keeping the division structure the same. Per his numbers, the Atlantic is 82-76 against the Coastal, with the majority of the cross-divisional rivalries at 5-4 over its nine years in place.
Despite the concerns of ACC coaches, the ADs approved a move to a nine-game schedule when Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the league in 2011. After more realignment moves, the conference shifted back to eight before ever making the change.
With cross-divisional schedules as unwieldy ever, the league higher-ups have examined a number of ways for teams like Clemson and Virginia can meet on a more regular basis (scheduled for 2020 and then after 2024 currently).
ACC commissioner John Swofford told ESPN that there’s “considerable support” for a move back to the proposed nine-game schedule. Teel agrees.
“What has gained momentum is a nine-game conference schedule,” he wrote, “that would put the ACC in lockstep with the Big 12 and Pacific 12, both already at nine, and the Big Ten, which is headed to nine in 2016.”
Teel says no vote has been taken, but more ACC games could be preceding a conference television network down the road.
With seasons having dates with both Notre Dame and South Carolina locked in place – the move is still not supported by Clemson. Moving to a 15-team league with Louisville in the next athletic cycle, majority could rule the other way regardless.