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Big Ten, Pac-12 To Create Inter-League Schedule System

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AUBURN AL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers rushes upfield in overtime against the Clemson Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18 2010 in Auburn Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUBURN AL - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers rushes upfield in overtime against the Clemson Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18 2010 in Auburn Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Earlier in the year, Stanford coach David Shaw suggested that the BCS AQ conferences make scheduling deals a la the Big Ten-ACC Challenge in basketball. At the time, I posited that it was an awesome idea that would never get off the ground due to concerns about SOS and programs incentives to schedule their way to 6-7 wins and an annual bowl game.

So, yeah, about that:

The question I have is: could the ACC strike a similar scheduling arrangement with another BCS AQ conference?

When I proposed a similar scheduling arrangement for the ACC back in July, the Big Ten edged out both the SEC and the Pac-12 as the conference readers most wanted to see paired with the conference. But since then, both the ACC and SEC have announced plans to expand to a total of 14 teams by 2012 (SEC) and 2014 (ACC). And it would appear that the Big Ten and Pac-12 are hitching their wagons to one another, so ... ACC-SEC inter-league scheduling?

There are plenty of compelling matchups between the two leagues, and most of those are typically featured in Atlanta at either the start of the season (Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic) or season's end (Peach Bowl).

There are also a lot of undesirable matchups between ACC and SEC schools, especially when you add schools as different as Missouri, Texas A&M, Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the fold. Syracuse-LSU, anyone? BC vs. Mississippi State?

Complicating an ACC-SEC Football Challenge scheduling arrangement further is the fact that many ACC schools already play their in-state SEC counterparts at season's end -- Florida vs. Florida State, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, South Carolina vs. Clemson, Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest.

Good luck trying to convince Georgia or Florida State to leave the state for a non-conference game. And good luck convincing Virginia Tech to schedule any BCS AQ opponent in non-conference play.

Still, you can't help but marvel at the symmetry of the two conferences, and think about the possibilities ...