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ACC Football: Conference Championship Regulations To Be Relaxed By 2016

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Something smells fishy...

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

An interesting article came out on CBS Sports today that talked about some interesting changes that could be heading towards the ACC in 2016. According to Dennis Dodd, the ACC and Big 12 have been approved to have rules changed for their conference championships in 2016. The Big 12 makes a lot of sense, previously leagues needed to have 12 teams to have a championship game, which excluded that conference, and now with the playoff, makes it harder for a team like Baylor or TCU to make it in the final four.

But the ACC Championship format changes remains a bit more hazy. Dodd talked to insiders who states that the ACC wants to get their top teams in the best position to make the final four as they can be. But what that means is all conjecture at this point.

This flexibility with the ACC Championship rules would allow the ACC to choose the top two teams in the conference to play in the championship game, hence preventing games like 2013 and 2014 when a higher ranked Clemson team was jumped by Duke and Georgia Tech.  When FSU and Clemson battled during the regular season in 2013, many wanted to see a rematch in the championship game, but instead were treated to the Seminoles pasting Duke 45-7. These rules may allow that to happen.

He alludes to the possibility that the ACC could also go to three divisions starting in 2016. I don't understand this idea at all. The ACC has 14 teams, which clearly does not make an even number. Unless the ACC is thinking of adding another team, which of course could always happen. Notre Dame could be a full time member (and hell could freeze over), or possibly the ACC could look at a team like UConn. How these divisions could be created would be anyone's guess.

Lots has been left up in the air about this announcement, and in the end it could really mean nothing. What it does do is give the ACC some flexibility on finding the right structure for their conference. This ruling gives us something to keep an eye on, because if the ACC does decide to make changes, it could significantly change the landscape of the conference.