An interesting debate is brewing down in Florida at the ACC spring meetings, as the topic of increasing the number of league games on the schedule has come up.
N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried was the guy that made the conversation happen, according to the News & Observer.
“It’s coming down the tracks here a little bit and we may see that one pretty soon,” said Gottfried.
The issue is one of schedule imbalance. The way the ACC works with 15 teams right now is that each member of the conference plays a home-and-home series with four teams in the league while getting five league foes at home and the remaining five on the road. The catch? Two of those four home-and-home series are against permanent opponents, while the other two spots rotate through the rest of the teams in the league. Adding those two extra league games would give each ACC team six home-and-home series and eliminate the likelihood of a situation that Virginia took advantage of in 2014, when they won the league by two games in a year where they didn’t play home-and-homes against a team with a winning conference record or a 20-win season.
The other issue is economic. If you’re, say, Georgia Tech, wouldn’t you want to have home games against the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Louisville and Syracuse more often? Those are the teams where fans of the road team are more likely to make an appearance in your arena where a home game against Clemson or Boston College may not even bring our your own fans.
But unless the ACC is adding ten games to the schedule, they’re never going to have a true round-robin, not when there are 15 teams in the conference.
And if there is no true round-robin, is it worth it to potentially eliminate some of those marquee non-conference games — Will Duke keep playing these terrific neutral court games? Will UNC still schedule home-and-homes with Kentucky? Will Syracuse have to cancel a series with a former Big East opponent? — just to marginally change how unfair the ACC league schedule can be?
I’m not sure it is.