Sunday, September 18, 2011

ACC Adds Pitt, Syracuse: How ACC Expansion Might Affect Divisional Alignment

The ACC has formally extended invitations to Syracuse and Pitt for membership into the conference.

This move towards expansion indicates the ACC wanted to protect itself from other leagues raiding their members as well as secure their place in the new super conference world that is coming (sadly IMO).

Currently, the league has two division - Atlantic and Coastal. Bonus points if you can name the teams in each division.

When the ACC expanded to 12 back in 2005 it went with a competitive balance approach to divisions instead of geographical. This has caused much confusion amongst the average college football fan since it is not easily identifiable which team is in which division.

Adding two new members gives the league an opportunity to hit the reset button on the divisional alignment if they want to.

North and South are the most obvious divisions geographically. Here is how that alignment may look.

North
Boston College
Maryland
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Syracuse
Pitt
One of the NC schools (UNC would make the most sense)

South
Other 3 NC schools - Likely Wake Forest, Duke, NC State
Clemson
Georgia Tech
FSU
Miami

From a competitive standpoint I think you have to put UNC or NC State in the North division.

However, the ACC has competitive balance currently in the divisions and could add Pitt and Syracuse to the current alignment. That move would make minimal disruption in future schedules.

In this scenario, adding Syracuse to the Coastal and Pitt to the Atlantic would make sense. I think the Coastal is slightly stronger than the Atlantic with four straight league titles.

Despite the current confusion in division membership, I think the ACC sticks with the current alignment slotting Pitt and Syracuse into opposite divisions with each other being the yearly opponent.

Personally, I think college football is losing a little bit of luster going to this super conference alignment. The feel of conference camaraderie is lessened greatly when you have 14 or 16 teams in a league because you cannot play each other enough.

Whatever your feelings are on super conferences we at least know the ACC is the first to arrive at the party.

1 comment:

  1. What if you flip Miami and the NC school? They have a large North East following, and essentially you would reunite all of the BE schools and keep Tobacco Rd. together.

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