AA sitting in HD's office while she's away. Shhhhhh, don't tell!
Dave in Charlotte, N.C., writes: My solution for the scheduling issue is to place all the teams you want playing every year in the same division. In the current setup, in a dream ACC year, you'd have Miami and FSU playing a rematch in the ACC championship. The Big Ten's dream matchup is even worse -- Ohio St/Michigan playing a rematch one week after their big game. Think about it, what's more appealing? The OSU-Michigan game (most years) having Big Ten Championship implications, or OSU/Michigan playing (every 10-20 years) in the Big Ten championship a week after they just played? Drop permanent crossovers and play two different crossovers every year. Then you'd be playing the other division teams every 3-4 years instead of every six. What do you think?
JC in Miami writes: Hi Andrea, What is the point of being in the same conference if as a fan you can't go to away games more than one a decade against half the schools. Miami won't play in Death Valley until 2022? UNC won't play at Wake until then either! 12 years between visits? If the ACC went with geographic North-South division splits no natural rivals would be separated and you could then have two rotating crossover games. I think this would be much better for everyone involved.
Andrea Adelson: Dave and JC both bring up the frustrations many ACC fans feel over this rotating crossover scheduling AND divisional alignments. I would have no problem with the ACC realigning divisions at this point, considering the additions of Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville. I am not sure it makes much sense to have Louisville in the Atlantic Division and paired up with Virginia as a permanent crossover rival just because it worked for Maryland. Unfortunately, divisional realignment is not even in the discussion stages at this point. One reporter asked commissioner John Swofford at the ACC spring meetings whether there was any talk about shifting divisions around and he had a one-word answer: "No." So for now, ACC fans are stuck with this plan. But for a little fun, let me play commish for a sec. How would these divisions look to you all? Division A: Florida State, Miami, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, Louisville. Division B: Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College, Georgia Tech. The games that need to be played would be played; then you can rotate two cross-divisional games per season. All primary crossover opponents would be in the same division except Louisville-Maryland. But as discussed earlier, that one can be tossed out.
Ben L. in San Diego writes: Outside of the Sun Bowl, why doesn't the ACC line up another PAC-12 team bowl game? They're the only conference the ACC hardly plays in the regular season, and it can be used for great recruiting exposure.
Adelson: Geography, Ben. It makes the most sense for the ACC to stick to games on the East Coast against opponents like the Big Ten and SEC because 1. It helps fans travel to games and 2. That is the primary area where the league recruits. Not sure what ACC teams would gain by a second team further West vs. the Pac-12 when only a handful of schools are recruiting that region. The majority of recruiting battles in the ACC are against the SEC, so it's hard to get much more exposure on that front than matchups between these two leagues in bowl games.
Bill in Vero Beach, Fla., writes: Do you really think anyone but the Maryland fans give a hoot what their Big 10 schedule is going to be? No one else is interested!
Adelson: I feel your pain, Bill, but Maryland remains a member of the ACC blog for this season. Therefore, Terps news remains on this blog.
Justin Thompson in Ocala, Fla., writes: Hey Andrea, Just wanted to comment on your piece about FSU's home schedule. We are having an event almost every single home game this season (Bobby Bowden returning twice, family day, senior day, homecoming) and this clearly screams of exactly what you were talking about. These seem like marketing ploys to try and fill the stadium far more than events to justify ticket prices, a la stadium giveaways. While the schedule aside from at Clemson and at Florida is pretty easy going, my friends and I are already planning our trips for 2014, almost writing off this entire season. It seems to provide little to be excited about, and if Miami doesn't find a line for both sides of the ball, that game is of little interest as well. Boo on the athletic department at FSU for following up last year's laughable schedule with this year's forgettable one.
Adelson: Look, I understand the schedule is not the greatest, and I understand Florida State is in a unique situation asking alums to drive long distances to come to games. Virginia Tech was supposed to come to town this year, but expansion forced that game off the schedule. West Virginia was supposed to be there last year. So there have been attempts at providing a quality home slate. As you mentioned, the 2014 home schedule is going to be terrific. But I thought fans went to all games no matter what, just to support the home team.
Scott in Atlanta writes: As a GT student and an Atlanta native, I'm looking forward to playing Georgia Southern a year earlier than we anticipated. Regional matchups are a great part of college football that we don't get all that much in Georgia.We will now, however, be playing them in the middle of their transition from the FCS to the Sun Belt. Since we will already be playing an FCS team (Wofford) that year, would a win against Georgia Southern count towards bowl eligibility for Tech?
Adelson: I asked Jackets sports information extraordinaire Dean Buchan and he says, "In 2014, Georgia Southern will be an FBS opponent for Georgia Tech. The Eagles, in 2014, will be eligible for the Sun Belt Conference championship, although they will not be eligible for a bowl game."