The ACC announced today the future football and basketball scheduling formats, as well as the divisional placements of Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Eagles fans should be pleased.
"The Atlantic and Coastal divisions will remain the same with Syracuse joining the Atlantic and Pitt joining the Coastal. The current primary crossover partners will remain consistent with Syracuse and Pitt becoming primary crossover partners with each other.
When Pitt and Syracuse join the ACC, the league will play a nine-game conference schedule. The format will consist of each team playing all six in its division each year, plus its primary crossover partner each year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division. This six-year cycle allows each team to play each divisional opponent and its primary crossover partner six times (three home and three away) while also playing each rotating crossover opponent two times (one home and one away)."
Here are the new divisions:
Boston College Eagles
Florida St. Seminoles
N.C. State Wolfpack
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Duke Blue Devils
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
North Carolina Tar Heels
Virginia Tech Hokies
As has been mentioned several times on this blog, this was the path of least resistance for the conference. This divisional alignment preserves an annual game with BC-Syracuse (46 games in the all-time series) and Syracuse-Pitt (67 games). Syracuse has more ties to the Atlantic Division in football, anyway (95 total games played, compared to 51 against Coastal teams), while Pitt has more in the Coastal (79 total games played, as compared to 58 against Atlantic teams). It will also allow the conference to set the BC-Syracuse game for the final weekend of the regular season as DeFilippo had planned for the Eagles and Oranges previously scheduled non-conference series from 2013-2021.
I was a bit surprised about the nine game conference football schedule, as I was starting to think with the SEC and Big Ten stating they would stay with an eight game schedule that the ACC would follow suit. That means that programs like Miami, Pittsburgh and Virginia will hit BC's annual football schedule at roughly the same clip as they do today (two times in six years). The downside, of course, is that this gives BC one less non-conference opponent each season. I'd imagine the priority will be to keep a non-conference series with Notre Dame, and the program will fill the rest of the schedule with a game against a I-AA team (Maine, New Hampshire, Stony Brook, Fordham, etc.) and a non-AQ program (UMass, MAC, Conference USA).
Don't expect too many changes to BC's future football schedules, either, as the ACC's new ninth football game will likely replace BC's annual non-conference game with Syracuse (scheduled for 2010, 2013-2021, with SU opting out of last season and this season).
Leave your thoughts on the new divisional alignment below.