June 30, 2022

ACC Football plans to eliminate splits, new programming format – Orlando Sentinel

AMELIA ISLAND — As ACC coaches, athletic directors and officials gather this week for the league’s annual spring meetings to discuss a myriad of topics, one idea that is quickly gaining traction is the elimination of the divisional format in football.

It’s been addressed many times over the years, but one that gained momentum after the NCAA Football Oversight Committee began reviewing a recommendation to remove requirements to host a league game. This gives leagues the flexibility to determine how to determine their conference champion.

The most popular idea is to eliminate splits, which the ACC did on a one-year basis during the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re closer to the end than the beginning,” Miami athletic director Dan Radakovich said of the process. “But we need to talk to our TV partners a bit to see what they think about it and put it through the car wash one more time.

“It’s not urgent to be able to do it now from a timing point of view, because even if we decide to bring this forward for 2023, it’s time to be able to do it and do it.” [right].”

A vote is not expected to take place this week, but something could happen in the coming months.

If the league moves forward, one proposal is to go for a 3-5 schedule format with each team facing three permanent conference opponents and rotating five schools every four years.

“It got a lot of excitement in the room,” Radakovich said.

The new rotation would allow the top two teams to meet in the conference championship game, like when No. 3 Clemson and No. 2 Notre Dame faced off in the ACC Championship in 2020. These matchups are ideal for the conference as far as the playoffs go, and both teams earned berths in the college football playoff semifinals that season.

Florida State coach Mike Norvell has experienced it on both sides in 2020 and 2021. He understands the positives and negatives of such a decision.

“At my last institution, we won the division championship for three straight years,” Norvell said. “Those were always things that were highlighted and celebrated, but on the other hand, getting the top two teams in the championship game is a great showcase for a conference.

“Every time we make a change, I want to know that the change will have an impact. I’m very open to this next step, but I don’t want to just jump in and say ‘Yes, let’s change’ and not get the desired result. which is necessary.

FSU AD Michael Alford understands this desire to have the best teams representing the league, but he’s also cautious when jumping to the idea. He wants to make sure everyone does their due diligence when making a decision.

“How can we move the conference forward, especially in the sport of football? What do we do?” Alford said. “There are pros and cons on both sides and we’re just making sure we’re doing the right thing by the conference right now.

“If we eliminate divisions, how will we win the conference? If we keep the divisions, we need to plan better to make sure the student-athlete experience gets a bunch of different teams and can play in a lot of different markets.

The discussions have advanced sufficiently to know which permanent opponents could be considered.

Alford said FSU should keep their annual games with Miami and Clemson, but their third permanent opponent could be a wildcard.

“I see this as the best for the conference: how do you build a brand?” said Alford. “And I’ll get selfish too and say, ‘How can I grow my brand? Where can I play more often that gets me into a major TV market? »

“What I like to do personally is expand our brand to different markets. It’s better for the league. More often than not, we can get the big-name teams traditionally on TV numbers, that we have a good or a bad year, in these new markets.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.



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