On Wednesday, colleague Andrea Adelson and I debated whether or not the ACC should realign divisions. It's been a hot topic since the ACC announced its future schedules, and this week, your solutions inundated the mailbag:
Kevin Mahoney in Midlothian, Va., writes: Heather, thinking more about this scheduling issue, why not get rid of the divisions altogether? What benefit is there? VT vs FSU every 6 years is crazy. Why not give each team three permanent "rivals" and with the other five games you could rotate among the other ten teams so you'd play everyone every other year. As a Hokie fan I'd much rather see FSU and Louisville every other year (at home every four years) then be worried about maintaining some manufactured rivalry with Duke. For the ACC championship game, just match up the top two teams. Who wouldn't have rather seen a FSU-Clemson rematch last year (except maybe GT fans). It would give the championship game a ratings boost and make it relevant again. It would also give the winner a resume stuffer should they be potentially in position for a playoff spot.
HD: You weren't the only person to suggest that in the mailbag this week, Kevin. There's only one problem with that. The NCAA requires split divisions in order for a championship game to exist. How about this solution from ...
Ken in Huntsville, Ala., writes: Heather,I keep reading articles and blogs talking about scheduling problems and realignment. I'd like to give my two cents. We all know that the ACC commish is not going to realign the divisions. Nor would it solve the problems with scheduling. We would run into the same problem in 10 years. I think the more likely thing to happen is for the leagues to petition the NCAA to drop the split division requirement to host a Championship Game. Now you set up 8 games between the 13 other schools and make 4 permanent and the other 4 rotating. This solves the scheduling problem. As an added bonus, this solves the lopsided division and ACCCG attendance problems. The ACC would then pick the best two teams in the conference for the Championship game. This past year it would have been a FSU-Clemson rematch. No doubt that would have drawn more TV's to the game. What to you think?
HD: I like it. Really, I do. I love the idea of the top two teams playing in the title game (sort of like, you know, the title game). The problem remains with the NCAA legislation, though. Does anyone outside the ACC care about the divisions rule right now? I would imagine it would be pretty difficult to get that rule changed -- even more difficult than convincing the ACC to realign the divisions.
Ryan Pasco in Clearwater, Fla., writes: Hi Heather,With all the ACC scheduling talk and the discontent with conference scheduling, I am surprised no one has really brought up what I think would handle everything: Why not just add another game to the schedule? I'm sure you can make an argument that 13 games may be too long of a regular season. But I remember when I was a kid and the season was only 11 games long plus a bowl game. College football has changed drastically and adding another game would mean more money, more football, and better conference scheduling. So why not?
Andrea Adelson: Thirteen games in the regular season? And a championship game? And a playoff? What is this, the NFL?
Brian in Washington, D.C., writes: Hi Heather, I've been reading since you took over the blog years ago and I really appreciate your fair and honest work. But this is my first time to send a message!This scheduling really has me bothered with conference opponents not playing each other for a decade! As a grad student at GT and having gone to FSU for undergrad, I'm especially sad about this.I'm curious if it was ever on the table to just drop the divisions? They are a scheduling strait jacket. Teams could rotate (not unlike they do with cross-divisionals). The championship could be the top-2 teams and then every conference game matters (instead of just the divisionals). Also, any chance either of my schools hires an OC?? Best wishes to you and your family,Brian
HD: Well, Brian, since we covered the first part of your question, let's focus on the second -- the OCs. Georgia Tech doesn't need one. Paul Johnson doesn't even need a script to call plays. Nobody knows that offense better. I think it's a unique situation. As for FSU? I spoke with another assistant in the conference recently who said he is astounded at everything his head coach has to do every day and couldn't imagine adding offensive coordinator responsibilities to that list. Ralph Friedgen used to do that at Maryland and he got burned out quickly. It's not impossible for coaches to pull double-duty, but has Fisher proven that nobody else can do it better?