Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bring on a 16-team ACC

I'm ready for a 16-team Atlantic Coast Conference.

That is something I never thought I would write. But given that the ACC already has gone to 14 teams, I like the way the league would look with 16 teams a lot better than its makeup with 14 teams.

Debbie Yow fought to make sure that
Maryland played Duke twice a year
in basketball while she was the Terps'
AD. Maryland will have a tough time
keeping that home-and-home
with Duke in a 16-team ACC.
N.C. State athletics director Debbie Yow already has said in an interview that aired Monday morning that the league will go to a North Division and a South Division.

If the a 14-team ACC has two divisions, the North Carolina schools will be split. 

Likely 14-team ACC divisions:

North Division: Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest.
South Division: North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami.   .

How would the ACC split up the North Carolina teams is anybody's guess, but my money is on Wake Forest being the odd school out in that deal. 

That's why I prefer the likely 16-team ACC divisions:

North Division: Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia and two teams to be named later (Rutgers, West Virginia and Connecticut are just three possibilities.) This division likely would include six former members of the Big East Conference.
South Division: North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami.

If expansion to 16 teams does indeed involve
two more current Big East teams, designers
of the ACC logo will only have to add four
more dots. I'm sure logo designers for the
Big Ten, Big 12 (though that guy might
be looking for work) and the Pac 12
are quite jealous.
I like the latter because that would mean that the N.C. schools would play each other twice during basketball season and once every football season. This would also end the ridiculous setup since the last expansion in which N.C. State and Duke don't play every season in football. No matter how bad Duke was over the years, that always seemed to be a terrific game. They also haven't played twice in basketball every season.

Carolina has been lucky in that it still has been able to play N.C. State and Duke twice every season in basketball and every season in football. It would be nice to get back to having the Heels play Wake Forest every football season and twice every basketball season.

In these setup, you might not play everybody in your division twice in basketball and once on football. But if you break each division into two four-team pods, the North Carolina teams logically would be in one of those pods, and you definitely would have two basketball games and one football game against every team in your pod each season.

Maryland wouldn't like this, of course. The Terps fought hard to be a scheduling partner with Duke so that they would be assured of playing the Blue Devils home-and-home in basketball every year. But I don't think that Maryland would be able to fight its way into the South Division.

I would have preferred that the ACC not expand, but it ia not realistic to stay at 12 with the crazy state of college athletics. If it had to expand, I'm happy that the league has added two solid basketball schools considering that it seems that football drives nearly every conference expansion.

Hopefully this talk of Texas coming to the ACC is over since I'm reading that the Pac 12 likely will be hooking the Longhorns along with Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. That just was crazy. At least under the possible setups I've heard, Pittsburgh would be the only Atlantic Coast Conference school not located in a state that borders the Atlantic Ocean.

Hopefully if the predicted four superconferences come about, the ACC will be positioned to be part of some sort of college football tournament involving the four champions. (Not that my Heels will ever be involved.)

People who thought that ACC
commissioner John Swofford was
standing pat obviously were wrong.
I'm not happy with what the expansion will mean for the ACC Tournament. But as I've blogged and was featured saying last March on A1 of the News & Observer, I'd favor doing away with the ACC Tournament. I know that there's no way that's going to happen, though.

ACC commissioner John Swofford's comments Sunday suggest that he would expect that the ACC tournament will be played at Madison Square Garden at some point. 

I have one question for Mr. Swofford: Will he make sure that a Stamey's Barbecue restaurant opens near Madison Square Garden? We don't need yet another ACC Tournament venue that doesn't accommodate the obligatory barbecue fixes during the tournament.

Right now, Swofford isn't too concerned with chopped barbecue. He's busy chopping up at the Big East.



  1. Just FYI, Texas *does* border the Atlantic Ocean. Not in our vernacular, so much, but the Gulf of Mexico *is* part of the Atlantic.

  2. Maybe. But it could not be described as being on the Atlantic coast, could it?