With the ACC expanding to 15 teams once Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame make their merry way down the coast* from the Big East, the conference will eventually have to find a way to put together an 18 game schedule.
On Wednesday, the league announced the framework of what that schedule might look like.
“The addition of Notre Dame gives us an opportunity to reinforce a number of conference rivalries in basketball and Olympic sports while also giving our schools greater flexibility in nonconference football scheduling,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford in a press release. “With Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame joining us, it is an exciting time in our league and our schools have made decisions that position us extremely well for the future.”
The schedule is simple: each team will have two permanent partners, whom they will play a home-and-home with annually. They will also play two more home-and-home series that rotate, while getting five league games at home and five more on the road. That equals 18 games.
The ACC also announced the permanent partners:
Boston College – Notre Dame and Syracuse
Clemson – Florida State and Georgia Tech
Duke – North Carolina and Wake Forest
Florida State – Clemson and Miami
Georgia Tech – Clemson and Notre Dame
Maryland – Pitt and Virginia
Miami – Florida State and Virginia Tech
North Carolina – Duke and NC State
NC State – North Carolina and Wake Forest
Notre Dame – Boston College and Georgia Tech
Pitt – Maryland and Syracuse
Syracuse – Boston College and Pitt
Virginia – Maryland and Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech – Miami and Virginia
Wake Forest – Duke and NC State
I have two initial reactions: UNC getting home-and-home series with NC State and Duke is awesome, especially with the way that the Wolfpack are trending. That said, it is disappointing that Duke’s second partner ended up being Wake Forest. I get that Wake is a North Carolina school and that the ACC probably didn’t want to piss off a North Carolina school by leaving it out of the rivalry with the other three North Carolina schools.
But still — Wake Forest?
Am I the only one that would have rather have seen Duke and Maryland get matched up twice a year? Or Duke and Syracuse? Or Duke and NC State? The point here isn’t to insult Wake Forest; eventually that program will get back to the level it was in 2009 and 2003 and 1996.
I just believe there were much better options for permanent rivalries with Duke than Wake Forest.
*(None of those schools are anywhere near the Atlantic ocean. Just pointing that out.)