Tuesday, June 28, 2022

What the new ACC football schedule rotation means for BC

Divisions are out! Rotations are in! The long rumored scrap of the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions finally became official as the ACC unveiled their new football scheduling model. In the new format, each team will have three annual opponents and then fill their remaining conference games with a rotation of the other teams in the conference. In a four year cycle you will play every team. BC's annual opponents will be Pitt, Miami and Syracuse. This all starts in 2023 and is mostly good news for BC.

The Good
BC's annual opponents all make sense. They are all former Big East teams and we have series with each that even predate the Big East. Syracuse and Pitt are schools that we should be able to compete with nearly every year under any circumstance. Miami is more of a Wild Card. Historically they have dominated our series. However they have been mediocre and inconsistent for the last 20 years. If they return to glory that game is an automatic "L." Or they could remain a shell of what they once were. It is a risk for us. I prefer playing the Canes every year to playing Virginia Tech annually.

BC fans are also celebrating that the new rotation means we see all the conference teams more often. As much as it will be disappointing not to play Clemson annually (or even Wake), I am glad we will see Georgia Tech, UNC, and UVA more often. Also, perhaps absence will make the heart grow fonder for opponents like NC State or Louisville, who we currently play annually, but no one really gets up for. 

The mix of familiarity and variety is good. And if it is a mess, they have created an out in four seasons.

The Bad
Losing the annual Clemson game is unfortunate and some of the history we have built in the past 15 years with the rest of our division is gone. But those aren't big deals. What is a big deal in my opinion is it just got that much harder to win the conference. Now you have to be better than 12 teams in the conference just to get to the Championship. In the Division format you only had to be better than six teams. Everything lining up is more realistic for one good run was and is statistically easier with fewer teams. 

Can it happen for BC in the new format? Sure. There might be years where we are good and our schedule is easy. But from a straight odds perspective it is harder now. 

Nothing last forever
There are so many issues looming in college sports, that it is almost a waste of time to get fired up about the divisions going bye bye. Expanded playoffs, NIL rules and even breakaway leagues might make scheduling woes trivial. For now, BC just needs to embrace the change and go out and beat everyone on their schedule. 

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