The biggest surprise out of the spring meetings last week in Amelia Island, Florida, was not the news that the ACC would be sticking with eight conference games. It was the news that ACC teams could schedule games against league members and have them count as nonconference games.
Sounds like another #goACC moment, right?
Not so fast. The idea does have some merit.
While it might seem counterintuitive -- why not go to nine conference games? -- it makes sense. The ACC did not want to mandate everybody playing nine conference games because Notre Dame presents a huge complicating factor and four league teams have built-in SEC rivalries. So why not let NC State play Duke if they so choose and have it count as a nonconference game? The schools are 23 miles apart; they should play more than they are right now. Doing so allows some of the schools in favor of nine conference games to at least get what they wanted, in a roundabout way.
Baseball teams already do it, so this is not a foreign concept inside the league. It only seems strange because it has never been done in football.
Whether this ever becomes a reality remains to be seen. NC State is one school that expressed interest in doing it. Duke athletic director Kevin White, on the other hand, did not have a position on whether or not he would consider it into the future. But in an era when scheduling creativity is going to be important, there is nothing wrong with a little flexibility.
That's what this idea gives to the league.
Now, it's your turn. What do you think of the idea? Vote in our poll above and send in some thoughts into the mailbag. I will get you the results and some of your comments Friday.