Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The ACC was to play a nine-game conference schedule once they expanded to 14 teams, but they have backed off of that stance and are staying with an eight-game league slate.
The ACC made a huge announcement on Wednesday, as the conference decided against a nine-game conference schedule, and chose to remain with eight league games. The move to nine conference games was due to the upcoming additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, but Notre Dame coming on as full member sans football is likely what caused this change.
Part of Notre Dame's agreement in joining the league in other sports is the scheduling of five football games with the ACC. Having nine conference games and then playing the Irish every few years would not give teams much flexibility in who they could schedule for out-of-league games.
Florida State would face a daunting schedule the year they'd play Notre Dame, because they face Florida at the end of every season. That would leave them with just one non-conference game to schedule those years.
Bud Elliot of Tomahawk Nation points out a negative in staying with an eight-tame conference schedule in a 14-team league:
One downside, however, is that with the new seven-team divisions, the math dictates that teams will only play each non-fixed opposite division division team once every six years, because games against the opposite division will be reduced to two. The nine-game schedule was originally done to allow teams to play six division games and three against the other division.
This is a downside, since some teams that normally would be playing against each other will now be reduced to matching up on the rare occasion, rather then on at least a semi-regular basis.