At the ACC meetings this week, the men's basketball topic of choice NOT ACC Tournament at Madison Square Garden was the league's future scheduling model. Specifically, the discussion focused on the league's current two permanent partner scheduling model.
Starting next season, each school will play an 18-game league schedule with two permanent scheduling partners, ensuring that more traditional rivals play one another twice a year in a home-and-home. Boston College draws newcomers Syracuse and Notre Dame in this arrangement, giving the Eagles a home game against both the Orange and Irish every season.
The drawback to this model is that this limits the exposure programs have to other non-permanent partners. A school like BC will only get two games in a season against Duke once every six seasons with the other years alternating a single game home and away.
While no future scheduling model decisions were made this week, the league will evaluate all the possible scenarios -- from schools having two or three permanent partners, to even reducing it to one or zero. The question is which scheduling model makes the most sense for BC?
You can all but dismiss the possibility of having no permanent partners out of hand. There's no shot the conference is going to have years where there aren't two Duke-Carolina games. Similarly, three permanent partners is far too restrictive for the idea to gain any sort of serious consideration. With three permanent partners schedule imbalance becomes a significant concern, not only for the conference standings and ACC Tournament seeding but also for things like dropping the last place team from the following year's ACC-Big Ten Challenge. That leaves the league with either sticking to two permanent partners or paring down to just one.
For the Eagles, I'd argue that having just one permanent scheduling partner -- Syracuse -- is preferred over having two. Notre Dame isn't anything special on the hardwood and there are far better conference programs I'd want to see BC face more regularly than the Irish. But Boston College is just one program of fifteen schools and this decision won't be made in a vacuum. Where do you think the other 14 schools fall on the one vs. two permanent scheduling partners? And where do you think the conference ends up?