Yesterday, the SEC announced that through 2016 the conference will continue to play an 8 game schedule. The SEC will continue to keep the rivalries, such as LSU-Florida, Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia, with the same format as the ACC. 6 divisional games and 2 cross-divisional games with 1 rotating member. The format that is new, however, is that each SEC team is now mandated to play at least one non-conference game against a team from one of the Power 4 conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12). This doesn't effect teams like Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky and Georgia that have annual rivalry games against the ACC. But it brings more scheduling balance to other teams like Mississippi State who plays a laughable non-conference schedule. It's what they have to do as a middle of the road SEC West team, going up against Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M and LSU every year.
This is a format I would prefer for the ACC over a 9-game conference schedule. The 8 conference game allows 4 home and 4 road games and the ability to schedule an exciting matchup out-of-conference. Most years, BC is probably already doing this but it would allow for some high profile games.
There is a lot of differences on an 8 or 9 game conference schedule and I can certainly see both sides of the argument. LSU's AD Joe Aleva, voiced his dissatisfaction over LSU playing Florida and Georgia a total of 19 times since 2000 while Alabama has played them only 9 times. The 8 game conference schedule with a protected rivalry will create this type of inbalance. We see this at BC against VTech. In the 9 years BC has been in the ACC my guess is we are 3-6 against them. BC may have fared better against Duke or Virginia.
Nick Saban has discussed his desire to move to a 9 game conference schedule and also play 1 power non-conference team, essentially playing 10 competitive games. I think only Alabama could feel this way. As a fan of college football, it would be much more exciting to see. But the SEC is already at the top of college football and this would be an unnecessary step.
What do you think? Would you like to see the ACC move in this direction? Again, it probably would be business as usual for BC but would make teams like Wake Forest (Utah State, Army, UL Monroe, Garder Webb) and NC State (Georgia Southern, Old Dominion, South Florida, Presbyterian) step up to the plate. The idea is to give the conference an improved strength of schedule in order to reach the playoff.