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ACC Announces Future Scheduling Formats And Policies

With Notre Dame playing five games annually against ACC teams, the league will move back to an eight-game conference football schedule starting in 2012.

Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

On Wednesday, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced the conference's future scheduling formats approved by the ACC's Faculty Athletic Representatives and Athletic Directors. The announcement was made as part of the league's fall business meetings being held in Boston.

Take it away, Swofford.

The addition of Notre Dame gives us an opportunity to reinforce a number of conference rivalries in basketball and Olympic sports while also giving our schools greater flexibility in nonconference football scheduling. With Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame joining us, it is an exciting time in our league and our schools have made decisions that position us extremely well for the future."

The biggest change for football is a return to the eight-game conference schedule starting in 2013. After Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the conference, the ACC had announced that the league would move to a nine-game schedule, where Atlantic Division teams would play four home games in even years and Coastal teams four home games in odd years.

With Notre Dame playing five games annually against ACC teams, this arrangement makes much less sense. A move back to the eight-game schedule will keep the home/road split even and allow programs to schedule more home games. More money. Everyone wins.

The Athletic Directors must have also felt that more non-conference scheduling freedom would have netted the league more cash from its TV partners than it would have it it had played a ninth-game.

In general, I'm in favor of this move. With the Notre Dame scheduling agreement and a nine-game conference schedule, there were very little flexibility in constructing the annual football schedule. This should give each ACC program much more flexibility in non-conference scheduling and as well as the opportunity to schedule more home games. The downside, of course, is that the Eagles will draw Coastal Division teams not named Virginia Tech much less frequently. Bad for BC-Miami, BC-Pittsburgh and BC-like Coastal Division schools (Virginia, North Carolina, Duke).

Boston College is in a bit of a bind now having to fill a date as early as next season. The 2013 non-conference schedule included a game at USC and home games vs. Syracuse, Army and Stony Brook. With Syracuse joining the conference starting next season, that non-conference game becomes a league game and BC will have to backfill the slot. My guess? #MACtion

More on the impact to the league's announcement soon. For now, leave your thoughts in the comments.