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Eighteen Game ACC Basketball Schedule Format? And The Big Finish

Brian: When the ACC meets next week as part of the conference's annual winter meetings, a decision may come on what the conference's 18-game basketball schedule looks like going forward. Currently, the Eagles play two permanent partners twice each season -- Miami and Virginia Tech. Here is the list of the ACC's permanent partners:

Boston College -- Miami and Virginia Tech
Clemson -- Georgia Tech and Florida State
Duke -- North Carolina and Maryland
Florida State -- Miami and Clemson
Georgia Tech -- Clemson and Wake Forest
Maryland -- Duke and Virginia
Miami -- Boston College and Florida State
N.C. State -- North Carolina and Wake Forest
North Carolina -- Duke and N.C. State
Virginia -- Maryland and Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech -- Boston College and Virginia
Wake Forest -- N.C. State and Georgia Tech

One scheduling model that is being proposed would increase the number of permanent partners to three. Under that plan, the four North Carolina schools could each play one another twice each season, as they did in prior to the ACC's expansion to 11 programs.

Another model, supported by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, proposes scaling back the permanent partners to just one. This would send Syracuse and Pitt around to more ACC venues, giving opposing fans an opportunity to see either the Orange or Panthers sooner.

Which model do you prefer, and which programs should be BC's permanent scheduling partners?

Jeff: With the addition of Syracuse and Pitt, I like the permanent partners. BC would almost certainly pick up Syracuse as a permanent partner and might even get both of the new additions. I would prefer that to seeing UVA, GT, Wake, FSU, and NC State more often. Duke and UNC would never be our permanent partners regardless of how it shakes out.

In football, you often correctly argue that BC gets screwed a little because they have to play Virginia Tech annually. In basketball though, picking up Syracuse in addition to Miami and Virginia Tech would be fair. Syracuse is a power but Virginia Tech and Miami never will be.

The good thing about ACC basketball though, as opposed to ACC football, is even the worst programs have seen the top 25 at various points in the season in recent memory. In football, whether or not you play Duke can be such a huge scheduling advantage.

Brian: Personally, I'd prefer less permanent scheduling partners to more of them, though I understand the need for them. The ACC isn't going to set up an annual basketball schedule with less than two regular season Duke-North Carolina games. I get that.

Ideally the conference would stick with two permanent partners, but the schedule isn't all that clean in terms of home and away games. I think I'd prefer to see the Coach K model, where programs play just one permanent partner, two rotating home partners and two road partners.

The problem, as I see it, is you aren't going to make everyone happy with just one permanent partner. Some matchups are no-brainers -- Duke-Carolina, N.C. State-Wake Forest, Clemson-Georgia Tech, Virginia-Virginia Tech and Florida State-Miami. That leaves BC, Syracuse, Pitt and Maryland.

BC obviously pairs nicely with Syracuse, but I think it would be a tough sell for Maryland to give up a second game against Virginia and Duke for a newly formed border rivalry with Pittsburgh (though I think there is some appeal to the matchup).

Since Maryland likely won't be sold on this idea, I think the ACC will ultimately settle on a three permanent partner scheduling format. Though I think Maryland's permanent partners will still change such that the four North Carolina schools can play one another twice each season.

Duke -- N.C. State, North Carolina, Wake Forest
N.C. State -- Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest
North Carolina -- Duke, N.C. State, Wake Forest
Wake Forest -- Duke, N.C. State, North Carolina

Clemson -- Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami
Florida State -- Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami
Georgia Tech -- Clemson, Florida State, Miami
Miami -- Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech

Boston College -- Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
Maryland -- Boston College, Pittsburgh, Virginia
Pittsburgh -- Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
Syracuse -- Boston College, Pittsburgh, Virginia
Virginia -- Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech -- Boston College, Pittsburgh, Virginia

As you suggested, BC's permanent partners will likely also change with the additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. I can see the Eagles getting two games a year against Syracuse and I also gave an extra game against Maryland, as the ACC has wanted to cultivate that rivalry based on proximity since BC joined the conference in 2005.

Big Finish

Brian: Looks like BC couldn't close on TE Jameson McShea, who chose Harvard over the Eagles. Are you as disappointed with this year's class as I am?

Jeff: Losing recruits to Harvard pretty well sums it up.

Jeff: When BC tied it at 44 at UVA, did you really think they had a chance to win or realize there was too much time left?

Brian: I never was confident BC could pull it out but I appreciated seeing the Eagles fight all night.

Brian: The Eagles women's basketball team is 0-7 in conference play. With just nine games remaining -- and five against teams ranked in the Top 25 -- do the Lady Eagles win a conference game this season?

Jeff: Yes, 0-14 is not going to happen.

Jeff: With the way things are going for the hockey team and both basketball teams, is there a chance that the 2012 calendar year is worse than 2011 for the Eagles?

Brian: Yes, at least from a W-L perspective. There's a very real possibility the combined win total of BC football, basketball and hockey is lower than it was in 2011.

Brian: The Eagles hockey team will wear their gold alt sweaters tonight at home against UNH. Are you a fan of either the hoops or hockey third gold jerseys?

Jeff: Yes, I like them about once a year.

Jeff: How in the world is going 68-67 as Rutgers' head coach good enough to get you an NFL head coaching position?

Brian: Finishing above .500 at Rutgers in an accomplishment in and of itself.

Brian: Last one. BC hosts Miami on Sunday. You feeling a win for the Eagles?

Jeff: I give them a pretty good shot of a win. I hope to see it.