The ACC announced its rotating crossover matchups through 2024 on Tuesday, and the full impact of what expansion has done to a conference that only plays eight league games a year is crystal clear.
With each team committed to six division games a year and an annual crossover rival from the opposite division (Virginia Tech’s is Boston College from the Atlantic Division), that leaves room for only one more opponent from the other division each year.
Here are the Hokies’ rotating Atlantic Division opponents (and if you want to compare those to the non-conference schedules VT has set up, you can see it here):
- 2014: at Wake Forest
- 2015: vs. N.C. State
- 2016: at Syracuse
- 2017: vs. Clemson
- 2018: at Florida State
- 2019: vs. Wake Forest
- 2020: at Louisville
- 2021: vs. Syracuse
- 2022: at N.C. State
- 2023: vs. Florida State
- 2024: at Clemson
Those matchups against Florida State and Clemson that fans were eager to see last year? They won’t happen often under the new model.
The Hokies don’t host the Seminoles again in Lane Stadium until 2023, making for an 11-year gap. They don’t go back to Clemson again until 2024.
As for eventual ACC member Louisville, Virginia Tech only plays the Cardinals once through 2024, at Louisville in 2020. The league set a 12-year rotation that figures to include this year. The Hokies host Maryland this year before the Terps head to the Big Ten and Louisville replaces them in the ACC. As of now, no return trip with the Cardinals in Blacksburg is scheduled at least through 2024.
To put things in perspective, the Hokies will play East Carolina seven times from 2014-2020. They’ll play Florida State, Clemson and Louisville only five times from 2014-2024.
It’s sure to renew at least some debate about whether sticking with an eight-game league schedule while preserving annual crossover rivalries is a good idea.
The SEC has resisted moving to nine games or getting rid of annual crossover rivalries, despite Alabama’s Nick Saban being in favor of it, while other leagues have taken an opposite course. The Big Ten will go to a nine-game league schedule in 2016. The Pac-12, which used to play a full round robin when it was at 10 teams, already plays a nine-game schedule.
The ACC briefly agreed to go to a nine-game schedule before backtracking, presumably at the request of schools like Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech that have annual in-state rivalries that are non-league games (Florida, South Carolina, Georgia). The addition of Notre Dame once every three years to each team’s schedule further complicates expanding the number of league games played each year.
What do you think? Does the ACC need to revisit its scheduling philosophy? Leave a comment below.