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I know, I know. Once you've stopped laughing, let me explain...
How would you folks feel about having a football division in the ACC that housed the top 7 teams in terms of football success (based on 4-year cumulative conference records)? In the other division the lesser 7. With our 9-game schedule, each team plays Home/Aways with its division teams every two years, plus three games from the other division, natural rivalries protected.
Were the league up to 14 teams this year, and looking back at the last four years of conference success, a top tier division would look like this:
1. Va. Tech
2. Pitt (BE conf. record)
3. Ga. Tech
7. UNC (BC had a better conf. record but finished last)
That's a tough schedule, but it would obviously do wonders for SOS and make for a significant slate of attractive league games every week, as well as invigorate fan bases with bigger conference games more frequently.
The 2nd tier would follow the same scheduling format. 6 within division, 3 outside.
In exchange for the tougher programs playing each other more often and creating more visibility for the league (i.e. better ratings, more $), they would have the benefit of having a 5th league home game for each season that it resided in the upper tier. These games would come from the 2nd tier schools on an annual basis, who only have 4 league home games (1 always vs. a top tier team, 3 in division). In essence it would be a reward for on-field performance, as it's tied directly into a program's success in-conference.
The extra home game would make a significant financial difference for the bigger programs such as Va.Tech, whereas now that game is being distributed every other year to programs that benefit on average far less financially from the 9th game we've just signed off on. This extra annual game would also allow for more flexibility for scheduling higher quality OOC games, as the bigger programs would always be on the plus side in terms of conference games.
It's just an idea that I'm throwing around to fans associated with the ACC's football schools. It's downtime, it's crazy hot, and change is everywhere. But it addresses SOS very well, it's financially beneficial to the programs that generally spend the most on football without upsetting the equal league revenue mission, and it could significantly raise the value of ACC football overall by having stronger teams play each other more often. The league could pull this off with the 14 teams we have now.
As incentives and in the interest of abject fairness, the top division's lowest winning team would swap with the 2nd division's top winning team every two years, based on 4-year playing periods. This puts added pressure on all programs both trying to stay in the upper division and for those trying to get there. A conference championship game would involve both division champions, a possible prize for a 2nd division team having a great season.
So, too tough a schedule? Does it hurt a league team's chances for the playoff, or is the trade-off worth the legitimacy that a champion from this conference would have when it comes decision time? Would the Hokies want to play more games each year where more of the nation tuned in? This could be a scenario where everybody wins, simply by 7 schools losing one home game every two years.
What say ye, Hokie Nation?
Would like to read and reply to anyone but I don't have a subscription. It would be great to get some specifics on where this approach is off.
Recruiting from the 2nd tier would be a bigger challenge, but with 2-year windows a recruiting class would have an opportunity to win up. Perhaps a 3-year span in conference play records for standings instead of 4 would work better to allow for a single class to make a difference, while also giving some cushion to a team that just made the move up with at least one season stretching back to the other division.
Actually, looking at your 2012 schedule, the mythical top tier division games are all there already, plus a proper rotation with tier 2. That's a pretty tough slate. The only difference really would be having the OOC Pitt game as a conference home game instead of away, so there'd be 7 home games in 2012 instead of 6.
I say no, dont see the value.
Don't see the value in the extra home game each year? Or in the SOS boost that upper division programs would receive? Or would the extra competition year in and year out be too much? Va.Tech would still play UVA every year regardless (natural rivalries protected cross-tier).
Wow, tough crowd... I like the idea wildblulou. At least you are trying to address the issue. How about you guys just hurry up and come to the SEC so you don't have that problem anymore? I wish college athletics would have a one week moratorium on exit fees, penalties, etc., come together somewhere fun like a beach resort and let schools join the conference that has reciprocal interest and stop dancing around for the next decade.
Land The Plane
I'm thinking the ACC is here to stay. Today's deal with the Orange Bowl says the next 12 years are going to have these five conferences plus Notre Dame as the status quo. Four super-conferences doesn't fit the geographic harmony of certain regions for fielding teams and competition. The ACC has just officially been anointed as the king of east coast football, with the southeast, mid-west, southwest and Pacific all covered elsewhere. Look for some Big East programs to join up where they can, but that's likely the extent of conference expansion for a while.
Now, let's get back to those home extra home games and gate receipts. Let's all be the man by beating the man. A little Ric Flair, please. Let's take on the best in-conference, up and down the eastern seaboard, as often as we can and make football Saturdays that much more insane. When it comes to the end of season... our league champion will one tough hombre.
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