ACC mailblog: Debating permanent rivals

Last week, I asked for your ideas about scrapping divisions and protecting two rivalry games. You came up with some clever responses.

Lee in Atlanta writes: Andrea, I saw your response to my Clemson buddy Creswell's question. As a Tech fan, we don't want Louisville (and I'm not sure who would want them) as a rival. And as a Falcons fan, I don't want Petrino in my city. Thus, I would like to submit some adjusted rivalry assignments:

Boston College: Syracuse, Miami

Clemson: Florida State, Georgia Tech

Duke: Wake Forest, North Carolina

Florida State: Miami, Clemson

Georgia Tech: Clemson, Virginia Tech

Louisville: Pittsburgh, Virginia

Miami: Florida State, Boston College

North Carolina: Duke, NC State

NC State: North Carolina, Wake Forest

Pittsburgh: Syracuse, Louisville

Syracuse: Boston College, Pittsburgh

Virginia: Virginia Tech, Louisville

Virginia Tech: Georgia Tech, Virginia

Wake Forest: Duke, NC State

What do you think?

Andrea Adelson says: I also got a note from Will Goodman in the mailbag about switching one of Virginia Tech's rivals to Georgia Tech over Miami. The reason I kept Miami-Virginia Tech was because of the rivalry the two had in the Big East. Those two teams have played 31 times, compared to 11 Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech games.

Mark Emmert's Brain in Miami writes: If the ACC doesn't eliminate divisions (makes most sense), realigning the divisions while playing five division games (two permanent), and three nondivision games (one permanent) is the best. Pretty sure this keeps ALL rivalries, teams play every three years, And it makes up for the stupid looking "A" in the new ACC logo.

Coastal (two in-division rivals; one out-division rival)

Miami (BC, Clemson; FSU)

Clemson (NC State, Miami; Georgia Tech)

North Carolona (Duke, NC State; Virginia)

NC State (UNC; Clemson; Wake Forest)

Syracuse (BC; Duke; Pitt)

Duke (North Carolina; Cuse; Louisville)

Boston College (Syracuse; Miami; Virginia Tech)


Florida State (Virginia, Louisville; Miami)

Virginia Tech (Virginia, Georgia Tech; Boston College)

Georgia Tech (Virginia Tech, Pitt; Clemson)

Louisville (FSU, Wake Forest; Duke)

Virginia (Virginia Tech, FSU; North Carolina)

Pitt (Wake Forest, Georgia Tech; Syracuse)

Wake Forest (Pitt, Louisville, NC State)

John in Tallahassee mostly agrees, writing: I liked the mailbag discussing scrapping the divisions. I, like many others, believe that it is the only logical approach with more than 12 teams. My only problem was the two responses you gave discussed having two rivalries. This is wrong. It should be three rivals that stay the same each year and five rotating games. There are 13 teams each school must play (obviously not counting itself). Therefore a 3-5 split makes more sense than a 2-6. In four years each school plays a home-away with the other 10 non-rival schools. Thanks.

So does Michael in Atlanta: While I don't see the appeal of a Georgia Tech-Louisville rivalry, my main complaint with your proposed "permanent" rivals is the number. In a 14-team conference, there are 13 other teams. That means each school can have three permanent rivals, play five more teams one year and the other five the next. So take whatever most popular suggestions you get for each school and add that as a third permanent team. (For Georgia Tech, I would add either Virginia Tech based on recent history, or Florida State for closeness' sake.)

Adelson writes: I can get behind three permanent rivals. The problem with the Brain's idea is there is no traction at all to realigning divisions. So you have to work with either the current setup or no divisions at all.

Marcus Ward in Fort Bragg, N.C., writes: Andrea, I have this great plan to solve all the conference, scheduling, playing and championship dilemmas. I think the ACC should recruit two more schools, then make four divisions: North, South, East and West. Put 4 teams in each division. Have the teams play the other three, and two from each of the other divisions. They can have permanent rivalries and get a better rotation and be able to play every team within a couple of years instead of a couple of decades. The four teams that win their division play each other in a playoff format, just like they will be implementing for the national championship. And the winners play each other in Charlotte for the ACC crown. They would have to play nine conference games but they still have three games left -- 1 for SEC, 1 for ND, and 1 for FCS, so it could work and still would be good for the game. I know this is a long way off, but it's worth thinking about and I left a lot of details out from my thoughts. But I have a rough draft that it could look like with the teams we already have. Hope you like, and have a nice day.

East: Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia, Boston College

North: Virginia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse, Duke

South: Florida State, Miami, NC State

West: Louisville, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech

Possible newcomers: Notre Dame, BYU, West Virginia, Army, Navy, USF, UCF

Adelson writes: Given the landscape, there is no real value in moving to a 16-team conference at this point in time. Remember, 16 teams mean revenue has to be divided 16 ways, which means the two newcomers have to add millions upon millions in value to make the move worth it. We're still in the infancy of 14-team leagues, so let's see how that shakes out first before moving to super-conference models.

Aaron in Los Angeles writes: I was thinking a lot about what the yearly ACC/SEC matchups would be if each team had a permanent foe. Obviously keeping the ones that already occur intact. Florida State-Florida. Georgia Tech-Georgia. Clemson-South Carolina. Wake Forest-Vandy. Louisville-Kentucky. BC-Missouri. NC State-Mississippi State. Syracuse-Arkansas. Duke-Ole Miss. Miami-LSU or Tennessee. North Carolina-LSU or Texas A&M. Pitt-Alabama. Virginia-Auburn. VT-Tennessee or Texas A&M.

Adelson writes: Somebody had to draw the short Bama straw. Hmm ... does someone in Los Angeles have a beef with Pitt? Maybe you are a West Virginia fan at heart. :)