The growth of the Big 5 conferences has led to the need for conferences to set new scheduling plans into effect. Out, are the divisions that determined who played in the college football season ending Championship games. In, are the entire league finding rival teams they will play every year and a rotation set up to play everyone else in the league every four years. The ACC announced its plan today that will start in 2023.
The ACC plans to schedule 8 conference games per team a year starting in 2023. Each team will have 3 rivals that will be played every year. For example, Clemson will play Florida St., Georgia Tech and North Carolina St. Florida St will play Clemson, Miami and Syracuse every year. The other five conference games each year will be a rotation of every other team in the league.
The top two teams, based on conference winning schedule, will be qualified to play in the ACC Championship that will be played on the first Saturday of every December. That note is incredibly important. How will ACC teams schedule their other four out of conference games each season?
In May, the NCAA Division I Council approved the deregulation of the current rule that had limited an individual conference’s autonomy to determine their football championship game participants. The Pac 12, soon after this announcement, changed their structure for who plays in their football championship starting in 2022. The Pac 12 will have the teams with the best conference records to play in the game. They stated that in 5 of the last 11 games, different teams would have played in the game had these rules been in place.
The Pac-12, and the SEC, have both indicated that they are reviewing how they handle regular season scheduling. Included in those discussions, are ideas similar to what the ACC just did in abandoning Divisions within their leagues.