ACC not interested in 9-game format

June, 17, 2011
6/17/11
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The new-look Big 12 will adopt a nine-game conference schedule, following the round-robin format of the Pac-12, and it's a concept that could spread throughout the rest of the BCS, as the Big Ten and Big East have both expressed interest in it. The Pac-12 will continue to play nine conference games, despite expansion.

The ACC, however, has no plans on going to a nine-game format anytime soon, according to associate commissioner Michael Kelly.

"We had a lot of discussions about it over the past two years and developed and reviewed many models at our various conference meetings lately, but have every intention of staying with an eight-game conference schedule for the foreseeable future," Kelly wrote in an email.

There were some beneficial aspects of it for the league to consider.

Under the current system, ACC teams only play cross-divisional opponents four times every 10 years. A nine-game format would allow for four nondivisional opponents instead of three. The current cycle runs from 2006-2015. Financially, it could also work out better because schools wouldn't have to pay out for some nonconference games.

It wasn't enough, though, to win over the league coaches, and it's not hard to see why.

Right now the conference needs the easiest path to success, and adding a ninth game would only make it more difficult for mid-level programs to become bowl eligible. In any given year, there would also be an inequitable amount of home games throughout the league. Coaches weren't the only ones who didn't jump at the idea, as many administrators like seven home games to make their budget work, and taking away a fourth nonconference game limits the flexibility in scheduling. It would also make nonconference scheduling more difficult for everyone, especially teams like Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech, which already have natural nonconference rivals built into their schedules.

If the ACC had a nine-game schedule and Florida State still had to play Florida and Oklahoma this year -- AND an extra ACC opponent? AND a possible title game appearance?

The Pac-12 can keep it.

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