Image Courtesy: Tar Heels Wire
Yesterday, the ACC made the move from divisions to the 3-5-5 format. They are expected to start with that format in 2023 in all sports. Each ACC squad will play their three rivals (as selected by the ACC offices) annually and play the other ten teams twice every four years.
Here are each ACC team’s three yearly opponents:
Boston College – Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
Clemson – Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State
Duke – North Carolina, NC State,Wake Forest
Florida State – Clemson, Miami, Syracuse
Georgia Tech – Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest
Louisville – Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia
Miami – Boston College, Florida State, Louisville
North Carolina – Duke, NC State, Virginia
North Carolina State – Clemson, Duke, North Carolina
Pittsburgh – Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
Syracuse – Boston College, Florida State, Pittsburgh
Virginia – Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech – Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wake Forest
Wake Forest – Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech
With formats like these, annual rivalries will be lost. The ACC chose the growing Clemson-NC State rivalry over the long time annual instate match up between NC State and Wake Forest and also chose for North Carolina to face Virginia annually over Wake Forest. Wake Forest will only play instate Duke while the Blue Devils will get all three instate rivals: North Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons will also see Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech every season.
About a month ago, following the NCAA allowing conferences to scrap divisions if they want to, the Pac-12 announced its move to no divisions. They will begin with that format this upcoming athletics season. At least in football, the champion will be determined by the two teams with the highest winning percentage. The Pac-12 offices have not announced a format for scheduling like the ACC has but I would expect an announcement soon. The 3-5-5 model would be beneficial as each school gets to play each other at least twice a year while maintaining each school’s three biggest rivals. They will play out the schedule like it was previously announced (with the division format) but the two teams with the highest winning percentage will go to the conference championship game.
The Pac-12 has missed many opportunities on getting programs into the BCS College Football National Championship because according to ESPN, the Pac-12 stated that “five out of the past 11 years, divisions kept the conference’s title game from featuring a different matchup that includes two teams with better rankings. In 2011 and 2012, for example, the conference title games would have featured Stanford and Oregon — both ranked in the top 10 those two years and had it not been for divisions, which allowed an unranked UCLA team and then a 9-5 UCLA team to play in the title game instead of an 11-1 Stanford team and an 11-1 Oregon team.”
I would expect the Big 12, Big Ten, and SEC to make decisions on their future scheduling models sooner than later as well so they can continue to help their programs pursue as many championships as possible.