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ACC Division Realignment Hypothetical: Shuffling Boston College, Louisville, Georgia Tech And Pitt

Shuffling Boston College, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Pitt for the good of the television.


It'll never happen, but this is always fun.'s Adam Gold has an interesting division realignment hypothetical, one I haven't seen previously. Why not send Boston College and Louisville to the Coastal Division for Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh to the Atlantic?

Here's Adam's new division alignment:

Atlantic Division
Clemson Tigers
Florida St. Seminoles
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
N.C. State Wolfpack
Syracuse Orange
Pittsburgh Panthers
Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Coastal Division
Boston College Eagles
Duke Blue Devils
Louisville Cardinals
Miami Hurricanes
North Carolina Tar Heels
Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia Tech Hokies

This reshuffling works because technically, none of the four programs that are moving here have won an ACC Championship in football. All about that brand equity; the same reason why the only two MLB franchises to have ever switched leagues have never won the World Series.

To reshuffle the protected crossover rivalries, Gold pairs Clemson-Virginia Tech, Boston College-Syracuse, Virginia-Pittsburgh (?) and Louisville-Georgia Tech together. Nitpicky, but I think the pairings here should be Louisville-Pittsburgh (16 games, series tied 8-8) and Virginia-Georgia Tech (35 games, series tied 17-17-1); not Virginia-Pittsburgh (5 games, Pitt leads 3-2) and Louisville-Georgia Tech (never).

Next up in Commissioner Gold's plan is to own Thanksgiving weekend. The Backyard Brawl is back (Wake-Vanderbilt tho) to go along with the league's non-conference finales Florida State-Florida, Georgia Tech-Georgia and Clemson-South Carolina, which, reasonable. That leaves five intra-conference matchups in the regular season's finale week: Virginia-Virginia Tech (Black Friday), Miami-Louisville, Duke-Wake Forest, North Carolina-N.C. State and BC-Syracuse.

The problem with this is that there are now three inter-division matchups, increasing the chances of a ACC Championship Game rematch in consecutive weeks. I'd be fine with the conference relegating one of those three series to "Indiana-Purdue, no shot in hell these two teams are meeting in back-to-back weeks in the conference championship game" status, but three seems excessive.

An easy fix is to pair BC and Miami (Hail Flutie!) and the intra-division Carolina schools (Duke-North Carolina, N.C. State-Wake Forest) together on the final weekend of the year, leaving Louisville-Syracuse as the lone cross-division game at season's end. The league could probably get away with this because ... Syracuse. I understand that there's some desire on the part of the Carolina schools fan base to end the year with UNC-N.C. State; not Duke-North Carolina, but neither the current setup nor the proposed one lends itself well to having too many inter-division games on the final weekend of the year. A more interesting setup would be to designate a certain weekend of the year (Homecoming?) where the two inter-division Carolina games are played. Think: third weekend in October.

For Boston College, the Eagles would gain a long-standing rival (Miami) and a trio of like-minded schools (Duke, North Carolina, Virginia) to go along with annual games against Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Not the worst setup in the world. BC would, however, lose a competitive series with Clemson and an annual game against Pitt. The series against the former has grown increasingly non-competitive over the past few seasons while the latter isn't happening under the current alignment anyway. Also, Pitt.

Boston College would also lose #TheRivalry which would easily be the most unfortunate casualty of division realignment.

Not without its flaws, Commissioner Gold's plan for division realignment is pretty sensible; one of a dozen or so better division alignments the league could move towards. It's also for this reason that it'll never happen. Makes too much sense.