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The ACC Should Follow-Through and Eliminate Football Divisions

It’s best for the fans and for rivalries

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Boston College Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

It was reported this week that eliminating divisions in football is being discussed at ACC meetings this year.

This is great news for Boston College fans for a number of reasons.

It gets them out of competing directly with Clemson and FSU every year for a spot in the championship game. As it stands right now, it takes a lot of luck for Boston College to find themselves vying for an ACC championship in football. Not only does the team have to be at a high level, but their success also needs to come at a lucky time when CFB powerhouses like Clemson and FSU aren’t firing on all cylinders. Clemson and FSU both being down has only happened once since 2008, and it was last year when the Eagles’ starting QB went down and their promising season fell into the gutter. A division-less ACC means there will be less roadblocks on the schedule every year for an upstart BC squad to make some noise.

It opens up the schedule to the rest of the ACC. A pet peeve of many ACC fanbases has been that they rarely get to see match-ups with some teams in the opposite division. For example, Boston College and Pitt have each been in the ACC since 2005 & 2013, respectively, and should make for natural northeast rivals for which fans can travel. But because they’re in separate divisions, each home team’s fans have only seen the schools play each other once at each stadium (COVID-year scheduling excluded). The elimination of divisions and a move to a “permanent rival” set-up means that BC fans will get to see the likes of Pitt, Miami, and more in Chestnut Hill at least every 4-5 years.

It preserves important rivalries. The division format was actually somewhat restrictive when it came to rivalries. Overall the ACC did a good job keeping together schools that want to play each other every year, but it wasn’t a perfect system. Syracuse is an important team to be playing regularly, and possibly even Clemson, but there are other schools like Pitt and Miami that BC fans may want to play every year, too. Instead we’re stuck playing schools like Louisville annually, with whom we have very little history. A new system with 3 permanent rivals allows teams to keep important match-ups without needing to finagle perfect divisions for everyone.