ACC vs. SEC: Another scheduling idea

In addition to considering a nine-game conference schedule, ACC officials also have broached the idea of a model in which the conference would play eight league games and one SEC team every year, according to several sources from both conferences.

First of all, hit the brakes.

This is a long, long way from becoming a reality, according to sources from both conferences. It's a theory right now, based on one conversation between the ACC and SEC.

There are a lot of conversations going on about scheduling right now, with spring meetings right around the corner, and based on everyone I've talked to -- coaches, athletic directors and ACC officials -- everyone seems to have a different opinion. Some coaches still want eight games. Some athletic directors want nine games. One coach I talked to wanted to eliminate divisions all together. Only when everyone gets in a room face-to-face at the May spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla., will there be a clear understanding of which direction the conference wants to go with its scheduling.

There are a lot of things to consider, such as:

  • The new five-game annual partnership with Notre Dame -- which was the very reason the nine-game scheduling idea was nixed in the first place.

  • The fact four schools in the ACC -- Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson and incoming member Louisville -- already have built-in SEC rivals during the final week of the regular season.

  • The College Football Playoff, and how to best schedule for it.

  • The possibility of an ACC channel.

As for the potential of an SEC-ACC lineup, an SEC source told ESPN.com that the ACC’s idea of an “8+1 model” was so premature that most athletic directors in the SEC hadn't even been briefed on it. The SEC also would never give up the final weekend of the regular season in which the Auburn-Alabama game steals the show. The SEC source said he did not see a scenario in which all 14 SEC schools would agree to it, but said there might be a scenario in which the SEC could match some teams against the ACC, particularly if those SEC teams were having trouble finding a suitable BCS nonconference opponent.

So, more than anything, it's one other idea that has been added to the mix. The ACC's athletic directors will have the final say on what -- if anything -- changes.