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New ACC Football Divisions To Drop Next Week?

The Newport News Daily Press' David Teel has the story:

"First, a glance forward to next week's ACC winter meetings in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In between poolside margaritas - on the rocks, with salt, barkeep! - league and school officials could well finalize football divisions for the 14-team alignment created by the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh."

As we've known for some time now, the smart money is on the ACC simply plugging Syracuse and Pittsburgh into the existing Atlantic and Coastal Divisions. Teel weighs the pros and cons of adding either Syracuse or Pittsburgh to the Coastal Division, ultimately deciding that Pitt is a logical choice for the Coastal Division, if you are a Hokies or Cavaliers fan.

"If I'm a fan of Virginia or Virginia Tech, both Coastal members, I'd prefer the Panthers in the division because a road trip to Pittsburgh every other year is easier than the hike to Syracuse. Plus, Heinz Field parking is far better for tailgating than the Carrier Dome. That said, the dome, though an eyesore, protects spectators from the elements."

Gobbler Country begs to differ, preferring the Orange in the Coastal, Pitt in the Atlantic and replacing BC with Pitt as the Hokies' permanent cross-over rival.

"Currently, the Hokies are the only team in the ACC that has to play at Boston College and at Miami (the league's North and South Pole) in the same season consistently, which they do every even-numbered year. The difference between Syracuse and Boston is about 140 miles one way."

Should the ACC add Syracuse and not Pitt to the Coastal, Teel says not to be surprised if the new inter-divisional protected rivalries become Virginia Tech-Pitt and BC-Syracuse.

But this arrangement seems extremely unnecessary. BC's preference is to continue its long-time rivalry with Syracuse (over Pitt), while I'm sure Syracuse and Pittsburgh don't want to see a 67-game football series hit the schedule once every few years (Don't Oklahoma-Nebraska Syracuse-Pittsburgh!).

If the ACC is bent on preserving the current divisional alignment, then the simplest solution is Syracuse to the Atlantic, Pitt to the Coastal, and Syracuse-Pitt added as a protected cross-over.