ACC Looking to Ride Some SEC Coattails
Image: CBS Sports
Last week an interesting proposal came down from ACC commish John Swofford that the ACC, now considering the possibility of playing nine conference games, would forgo that extra contest and play eight if they could instead have each team schedule at least one SEC opponent every year. Also on the ACC’s wish list; world peace and being able to register on the affordable healthcare act website.
This model is definitely only in the brainstorming level of development as conferences look to the future of the four-team playoff this season and the best ways to position themselves for a run. The ACC, who is also considering major changes in it’s conference championship game to garner what most describe generally as national interest, is looking to bolster it’s impressive streak of BCS national championships, which now stands at one.
Bravo, yelled every other conference who would be unbridled with a mandatory extra out-of-conference game against a former BCS team, giving them one less possible hurdle into the playoff, the equivalent of a two touchdown lead if Vegas handicapped getting to the playoff like the game itself.
Other than getting all fourteen teams to sign off on the deal, an additional impediment to such scheduling mojo is a future 5-game schedule the ACC has signed with Notre Dame, who is expected to at least score more than one touchdown in each of those games. Geez. If the SEC turns the ACC down, it looks like they’ll have to hit up the Service Academies next.
With basically a quarter of the two conferences already playing each other in long-standing rivalries, a big collective yawn went up from Georgia, through Florida, and up to South Carolina and Kentucky.
While the notion of this proposal is noble, no conference in their right mind is going to want to hamstring themselves with such a requirement unless you make it mandatory for all the major conferences to do so. With the playoff looming, the stakes are just too high. I’ve always thought it was a good idea to have the big boys play themselves more often, but it’ll only work if you force all of them to do it. That’ll at least give some of the smaller guys on a roll at least a prayer of possibly getting into the playoff.
Speaking of the smaller teams, this is also one of the reasons why I don’t want to go to a nine-game conference schedule: we will never be able to give these up-and-comers a chance to take on the heavyweights. Don’t the Southern Misses, UL-Monroes, and Arkansas States deserve a chance to play the giants in their neighborhood now and then? We may think of them as cupcakes now but that could change one day. Nine conference games will force us to be stingy with ourselves.
You don’t think Troy would relish one day to get a shot at Auburn or Alabama? We’ll never play them if we’re only playing the heavies. How does a team get good if they can never take on the bigger boys on the block?
If we do mandate one non-conference BCS opponent each year, don’t limit it to just a cross-conference rivalry either. After the SEC is finished with the ACC, let’s move on to the Big 12, then the PAC-14, then the Big 10, and then whatever conference gravity causes to form out of the remnants of the Big East and the other debris in our college football solar system.
Big thanks for thinking of us, ACC.