What if the ACC made a Georgia Tech for Boston College swap, sending the Jackets to the Atlantic Division and the Eagles to the Coastal?
Over the summer, back when Florida State couldn't wait to get out of the Atlantic Coast Conference, school president Eric Barron suggested a more regional divisional alignment for the conference. Stop me if you've heard this before.
Barron suggested moving Georgia Tech to the Atlantic Division, Florida State's closest geographic neighbor, would help FSU fans who want to travel to games. The Daily Press' David Teel picked up on the story, proposing a Georgia Tech-for-Maryland swap that would send the Yellow Jackets to the Atlantic Division and the Terps to the Coastal. That would create a divisional alignment that looks like this:
Atlantic Division: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Syracuse and Wake Forest
Coastal Division: Duke, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech
A Georgia Tech for Maryland swap doesn't seem like a fair trade. What if, instead, Georgia Tech traded places with it's week 8 opponent Boston College? Though both programs are going through a rough stretch, this still seems like a much more fair trade when you consider the body of work of the two programs since Boston College joined in 2005:
-- BC has 59 wins. Georgia Tech has 59 wins.
-- BC has 33 conference wins. Georgia Tech has 38 conference wins.
-- BC has 2 ACC Championship Game appearances. Georgia Tech has 2 ACC Championship Game appearances.
-- BC has zero ACC championships. Georgia Tech has zero ACC championships*.
-- BC has 3 bowl wins. Georgia Tech has none.
-- The two teams are 1-1 in the all-time ACC series.
I'll go ahead and chalk up the difference in conference wins to the fact that the Coastal Division has Duke. In any event, this is a much more even swap than if Maryland was moved to the Coastal from a pure football standpoint.
This alignment would reunite Boston College with Miami, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech while aligning with other like-institutions Duke, North Carolina and Virginia. Similarly, Georgia Tech would join Clemson, Florida State and Wake Forest in the Atlantic -- the Jackets three closest geographic neighbors.
Three of the seven protected cross-over rivalries would remain the same -- Florida State-Miami, N.C. State-North Carolina and Wake Forest-Duke. From there, I would think the conference would pair Georgia Tech with Virginia (all-time series is 17-16-1 Virginia), Boston College and Syracuse, Clemson and Virginia Tech and Maryland with Pittsburgh (as they did for the bouncey ball).
There are a few series that fall out with this alignment -- notably Syracuse-Pitt and Maryland-Virginia -- but nothing earth shattering where I think the idea would be scrapped altogether. I'm not sure Syracuse or Pitt fans would be all that upset about it, either.
I'd think the conference would hesitate to move around two programs that have a combined four ACC Championship Game appearances to their names. But then again, the ACC no longer recognizes Georgia Tech's 2009 title so it's not like they'd be moving around a division champ with its name etched on the conference's championship trophy either.