Not everything in college football realignment is about changing the face of the conference by adding or losing schools. Sometimes, a conference can become stronger and more appealing by making changes from within, like the ACC should do by dumping the coastal and Atlantic format, instead turning to a North-South division format from 2014.
David Hood on Tigernet is an advocate of the idea, suggesting that with Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining, the opportunity to turn the conference into a “big boys” one instead of just some little, inferior sister to the too-dominant SEC is found within internal restructuring.
The current division makeup of the Atlantic (Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Wake Forest) and the Coastal divisions (Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech) doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
First, it puts the two powers of the conference for the past few years and for the foreseeable future, unless Virginia Tech get over their current talent problem, in the same division, creating an embarrassing situation like we had in last year’s ACC title game, when the Seminoles faced a .500 team in Georgia Tech, while both the Tar Heels and the ‘Canes were ineligible to play for that title.
With so many former Big East teams coming in, it might not be such a bad idea to make a mostly geographic split, that might hurt a few of the current annual rivalries, but help rekindle a few old ones as well.
The proposal? A North division, with Boston College, Louisville, Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech, and a South Division, with Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, North Carolina and Wake Forest. This splits the FSU – Clemson power duo into two different conferences, while not disrupting the sacred rule of having each team getting a chance to play in Florida for recruiting purposes, although having Florida State and Miami in the same division sure sounds like fun.
It mostly makes sense from a travel standpoint, except for Miami needing to travel up to Pitt, Boston and New York, but that holy Florida split has to be sustained. The South division keeps all NC teams together, which makes sense, even if Duke are never going to be any good, while a rivalry between Virginia Tech and Clemson sure sounds like fun as well.
Will it happen? Probably not, but it’s always fun dreaming of good things that College Football powers don’t feel like setting in motion.