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Headlines: ACC Football to Move to 9 Games?

Life is tough as an ACC official as ACC brass meet today in Amelia Island, Florida.

Brian: The ACC spring meetings begin today in sunny Amelia Island, Florida. Previously discussed on this blog is a proposal on the table to move the men's basketball conference schedule from 16 games to 18 games. Also on the table is an ACC football proposal to expand from an 8 game conference schedule to 9 games. Let us today consider the football proposal. Currently, only the Pac 10 plays a 9 game, round robin conference schedule in football. Jeff, your thoughts?

Jeff: Well I think you already know my opinion on expanding the ACC basketball conference schedule. I like it. There are plenty of meaningless out of conference games in the basketball season that I would be happy to see go. The ACC is NOT going to stop the ACC-Big Ten Challenge or any similarly lucrative out of conference matchups. So I am all about expanding the basketball schedule and getting 2 more teams that you play within the conference in a home and home series each season.

Football is a different animal though. Nine games is still not enough to play everyone in the conference every year so I don't see a ton of value in it. I think having nine conference games would almost force DeFillipo to schedule more MAC teams or other easy victories without 2 optional out of conference games assuming that the BC-Notre Dame series continues. I do not see that as a good thing. I want to see BC play USC or another PAC-10 team, Big Ten or SEC team each year. And I would think you can throw my idea of BC playing UConn every year in Foxboro out the window if the ACC goes to 9 conference games in football.

Brian: I also don't think that the ACC will move to 9 conference football games. A ninth game would only be another home game every other year for teams. So while the 9 game slate is touted as saving money and making scheduling easier for the teams in conference, some years it would take away from that lucrative 7th home game for ACC teams. Plus, as you mention Jeff, if ADs were given one less out of conference game to schedule, it's likely that the matchups piting major BCS teams together would suffer in favor of games against lesser competition. I can't see Clemson scheduling SEC rival South Carolina and Alabama in the same season over Furman, Coastal Carolina and other non-BCS schools. ADs will look to pad their resume with wins and will most likely be more reticent to schedule more than 1 blockbuster BCS matchup a season.

Jeff: I didn't say that I don't think the conference will move to 9 games, but I don't want them to. Ultimately, I definitely think that the ACC will move to 18 conference games in basketball and I would guess that football has about a 50% chance to move to 9 games.