The format and programming of the ACC Football Division is a hot topic at the ACC’s Spring Meetings, which kicked off Monday.
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — After two years of virtual spring meetings due to the COVID pandemic, ACC athletics directors and coaches returned here at the Ritz-Carlton on Monday to begin what is expected to be three or four days lively discussions.
One of the first topics on the record was the future of football programming and whether the league would scrap the divisional format implemented in 2005 in conjunction with the first Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported on Monday that the conference could implement changes that would go into effect as early as fall 2023, but several athletic directors said the situation was too “fluid” to determine a timeline or direction. .
“It’s still under discussion,” said FSU athletic director Michael Alford. “We’re looking at so many different models. But at the end of the day, that’s what’s best for our league. What’s best for promoting our brand – especially football and basketball and all of our sports.
“What’s the best way to promote ourselves as a conference moving forward?” »
The NCAA Division I board is expected to soon consider a proposal that would remove the requirement for divisions to hold a conference title game. If this measure passes, as many expect, it would clear the way for conferences to determine their own methods for determining championship games.
One of the main benefits of removing the division setup would be not locking so many teams into yearly matchups. This would lead to a greater variety of schedules, which could be more appealing to fans in attendance as well as viewers.
That probably wouldn’t be a free-for-all total, though, Thamel reported that models under consideration include having two or three permanent conference opponents each year, with other schools rotating on and off the schedule.
Both scenarios would ensure that every ACC school would host every other conference school at least once every four years. In the current model, some ACC schools only play against each other once every several years.
FSU, for example, played in Pittsburgh in 2013 and then didn’t play the Panthers again until 2020 at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Clemson AD Graham Neff confirmed the sporting directors discussed scheduling options at their meeting, but added they would not get advice from football coaches until Tuesday.
Neff said the conference will likely make a decision by Wednesday, but he had no idea how that would play out — or if change was sure to come.
“This is the time when everyone is here to talk about it,” Neff said. “There are just a lot of moving parts. It’s always fluid.”