On Tuesday, the ACC will announce its men's basketball schedule for the next two seasons, which will provide Eagles fans a glimpse of just how difficult Jim Christian's first few year in the league will be. The league will replace Maryland with Louisville later this summer.
First, let's review how scheduling works in the ACC.
Each school plays 18 conference games a year -- 10 teams once a year and four others twice a year. Two of those four home-and-home partners are fixed while the other two rotate. For Boston College, Syracuse and Notre Dame are the Eagles' fixed dancing partners while Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech rotated onto the schedule for home-and-homes last season.
Should the permanent scheduling partner rotation remain unchanged, Louisville would inherit Maryland's permanent rivalries with Pittsburgh and Virginia. The conference's permanent scheduling partner model would look like this:
|Program||Partner 1||Partner 2|
|Boston College Eagles||Notre Dame||Syracuse|
|Clemson Tigers||Florida State||Georgia Tech|
|Duke Blue Devils||North Carolina||Wake Forest|
|Florida State Seminoles||Clemson||Miami|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||Clemson||Notre Dame|
|Miami Hurricanes||Florida State||Virginia Tech|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||Duke||N.C. State|
|North Carolina State Wolfpack||North Carolina||Wake Forest|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||Boston College||Georgia Tech|
|Syracuse Orange||Boston College||Pittsburgh|
|Virginia Cavaliers||Louisville||Virginia Tech|
|Virginia Tech Hokies||Miami||Virginia|
|Wake Forest Demon Deacons||Duke||N.C. State|
I doubt that the league will revise the permanent scheduling partner model in light of the Louisville add. Louisville-Pittsburgh is a natural rivalry from their Big East days and, though Louisville-Virginia seems incredibly forced, I'm not sure the ACC will completely reshuffle the deck to find more suitable permanent scheduling partners.*
* I suppose you could make an argument for swapping Boston College-Notre Dame with Louisville-Pittsburgh, pairing BC-Pitt and Louisville-Notre Dame -- the conference's two westernmost outposts -- but I don't think they'll touch the pairings.
So where does that leave Boston College for next season? Assuming no changes to the two permanent scheduling partners model, the Eagles will once again draw the Fighting Irish and Orange twice a year. That leaves two more spots for home-and-homes with two other programs.
Let's say that last year's rotating partners -- Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech -- are out. That leaves 10 programs to fill the remaining two scheduling spots. With any luck, those will go to Miami and Wake Forest #therivalry. But watch them go to, like, Duke and Louisville. We'll just have to wait until tomorrow's announcement to find out.