Last week, ACC Commissioner John Swofford hinted at how Pittsburgh and Syracuse will eventually get slotted into the conference ... whenever that might finally happen.
"I think nine (conference) games are probable in football. I think it's more likely to be maintaining the divisions and plugging Pitt and Syracuse into the existing divisions. Recognizing the equity that's been built in the two divisions as you have them now. The competition, it's amazing how close it is. It's almost 50-50 (the Atlantic leads 68-64, including title games). We're not there yet. That could change, but the tenor of the conversations has been in that direction.
"Basketball, I think 18 games are probable as opposed to 16, and I think no divisions are more likely than having divisions."
This particular divisional split has been rumored for quite some time, with both the Virginia and Virginia Tech ADs supporting keeping the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions. It's all in the name of brand equity, you know.
Now while Swofford says "we're not there yet," all indications are that this is the way the conference is going to go. Which leaves us with the question -- should Syracuse or Pittsburgh join Boston College in the ACC Atlantic?
Syracuse blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician thinks that it's probably more important for Syracuse to end up with BC, from a rivalry and hate perspective:
I think it's more important that we end up in the same division with Boston College, whom we hate a lot more. FYI, they're in the Atlantic Division.
That said, the Coastal Division might be a better overall fit. That's Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Duke and North Carolina. We have strong history with two of them and it would be nice to have Duke on the schedule every year. Who doesn't like beating Duke in anything?
I'm excited when Duke falls on BC's schedule every year too, but how that'd work out for us this year? Someone might want to clue Cuse fans into this fact.
From a rivalry and hatred perspective, I would prefer having Syracuse in the Atlantic over Pittsburgh. I also think that Pitt is probably the stronger football program, considering that Cuse has been more or less awful in football since we parted ways back in 2005 (with apologies to the 2010 Orange). So ... better shot at an annual W, amiright?
The other option is that Pitt is slotted into the Atlantic, Syracuse to the Coastal, and the Orange replaces the Hokies as BC's permanent cross-over rival. Though a Virginia Tech-Pitt rivalry seems just as forced as Virginia Tech-BC.
Either way, I'd imagine if Boston College gets its way, we'll push hard to play Syracuse every season. Whether that's as Atlantic Division rivals or a cross-over divisional rival remains to be seen. It would be a shame to watch a rivalry 46 games in the making only hit the football schedule roughly once every three seasons (BC-Miami'd).
Then again, BC may not have as much of a say in where Pitt and Syracuse get slotted based on other ACC program's interests. DeFilippo (ESPN?) got his way with who the ACC selected as programs 13 and 14, and may not have a say in where those two programs are slotted.