Swofford says ACC keeping its options open on scheduling, division structure

If the NCAA ends up giving more latitude, 'we'll have to have a long conversation about what's best for the ACC going forward'

Football  - Cole Stoudt

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Cole Stoudt

While maintaining the status quo for now, the ACC will continue discussions about revising its current division structure, conference commissioner John Swofford said last week.

Nothing's been done so far, Swofford said, "because though we've talked about it with regularity, every time we do that our schools end up back at the same place, which is where we are - with Louisville sliding into the spot that Maryland's vacating and keeping the divisions the same."

Swofford said that while the league's members will continue talking about its division structure for football, there are other factors that could eventually lead to changes in the ACC's championship format.

"We'll definitely continue to look at that going down the road, because that's something I think can keep our conference fresh," Swofford told the ACC's official website. "We're still looking at some other things as far as scheduling - whether we go to nine conference games or not, and whether we do things with other conferences or not.

"There's also NCAA legislation that would eliminate some requirements that you have to have (at least) 12 teams for a championship game, and that you have to have two divisions where every team plays each other in the division every year. That would not only affect your championship game, but how you schedule in the regular season."

Swofford noted that statistically, the ACC has been well-balanced since the two divisions were instituted.

"It's amazing, really, when you look at the wins and losses between the two divisions, and how competitive the two divisions are," he said. "It's hard to get away from something that's worked as well as it has."

Swofford said that if NCAA format requirements end up giving conferences more latitude, "we'll have to have a long conversation about what's best for the ACC going forward - for building our league, our championship game, and for getting the maximum number of teams in the College Football Playoff."

One of the options the ACC might consider is to have no divisions at all.

"That would be one of the options - one league of 14 teams, and then, however you'd determine it, your top two teams would play in the championship game," Swofford said. "Whether we'll get to that point, I don't know. I don't want people to think that's the next thing coming."

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Comments » 1

lhaselden writes:

Count ND as a conference game and play 9 conference games.

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