Blog Entry

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:36 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:37 pm
Pittsburgh and Syracuse may not be leaving the Big East for the ACC for another two years, but the Panthers and Orange know now which ACC divisions they’ll be in. Pittsburgh will compete in the ACC’s Coastal Division, while Syracuse will be in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, the ACC’s athletic directors voted Friday.

The ACC also voted to increase its league football schedule from eight to nine conference games when the Panthers and Orange come on board.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse aren’t scheduled to join the ACC until July 1, 2014. However, that timetable could get moved up depending on if West Virginia is allowed to leave the Big East early for the Big 12. West Virginia is trying to join the Big 12 this fall, while the Big East is trying to make the Mountaineers honor the league’s exit agreement and stay until June 30, 2014.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse have not indicated they would pursue legal action, like West Virginia has, to leave the Big East before 2014, but sources told that both schools are monitoring West Virginia’s situation and would try to join the ACC early if the Mountaineers are able to leave before 2014.

ACC commissioner John Swofford wouldn’t speculate on Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the ACC before 2014. “First of all, (that decision) is between Pitt and Syracuse and the Big East,” Swofford said.

However, if the Panthers and Orange can leave before 2014, the ACC will be ready.

“The fact we made our decision how we will schedule and compete certainly helps us (when they join),” Swofford said. “In terms of when that time may come, I don’t want to get into a hypothetical of this or that. Our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”

If West Virginia leaves the Big East before 2014, it will likely have to pay a substantial financial penalty to the Big East. Swofford would not speculate whether the ACC would assist Pitt and Syracuse financially to assist them if they were able to leave the Big East early.

The ACC is expected to announce its 2012 football schedule in the next two weeks, so even if WVU and the Big East settles in the coming days it's unlikely Pitt and Syracuse would be able to join for the 2012-13 school year. Before the 2013 season is a more realisitic possibility.

Whenever they do get to the ACC, Pittsburgh will join Miami, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Coastal Division. Syracuse will join Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State, Boston College, Maryland and Wake Forest in the Atlantic.

The current primary crossover partners will remain consistent with Syracuse and Pitt becoming primary crossover partners with each other.

When Pitt and Syracuse join the ACC, the league will play a nine-game conference football schedule. The format will consist of each team playing all six in its division each year, plus its primary crossover partner each year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division.

“We’ve been evaluating (eight or nine-game league schedules) since back in the fall,” Swofford said. “We want to see and play each other as much as reasonably possible.”

Swofford also said that adding conference television inventory (more ACC games) also was beneficial.

This six-year cycle allows each team to play each divisional opponent and its primary crossover partner six times (three home and three away) while also playing each rotating crossover opponent two times (one home and one away).

In basketball, the ACC will play an 18-game conference schedule beginning in the 2012-13 school year.

After Pitt and Syracuse join, each school will have one primary partner (Boston College and Syracuse; Clemson and Georgia Tech; Duke and North Carolina; Florida State and Miami; Maryland and Pitt; N.C. State and Wake Forest; Virginia and Virginia Tech).

The scheduling model will be based on a three-year cycle during which teams will play every league opponent at least once with the primary partners playing home and away annually while the other 12 rotate in groups of four: one year both home and away; one year at home only; and one year away only.  Over the course of the three-year cycle primary partners play a total of six times and all other conference opponents play four times.

The format allows each program to see opponents with more regularity and creates an increase in competitive balance throughout the teams.

The league also determined that all 14 league members will qualify for the ACC men's and women’s basketball tournaments. However, how the tournaments will be formatted will be announced at a later date.


Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:04 am

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

There is no reason why every conference does not play nine conference games.  If they do this, some of the higher ranked teams would be weeded out and not as many will be bowl eligible.  No need for a playoff system, just add another game.  Do that, and the system will trim itself, allowing more bowl games with good teams against good teams and fewer poorly attended games with bad matchups.

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 2:04 pm

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

Its about winning and losing not academics.  The ACC has been a BCS bust for 10 years.  They can't beat any top 20 teams.  Why not go to a 9 game conference schedule.  In the case of FSU they have to play 3 games to get to the Championship by beating either Clemson, NC, UF their conference championship and then their bowl game.  I do favor a playoff system but the computers are keeping scenarios I've just described from happening.  FSU could turn it around and revert to the glory of yester year but only if they keep Oklahoma on the schedule or add Oregon or USC.  A playoff system would quickly weed out and expose teams like Boise State and the rest of the weak sisters that climb into the top 10 year to year.  We would get to see how they fare against the 'Bamas, LSUs, Ducks and Oklahomas of the world.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:24 am

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

It appears that the ACC is on solid ground.  This planning shows that the conference is prepared to handle any eventuality.  I believe that Pitt and Syracuse will leave the Big East in 2013, and that West Virginia will leave in 2012.  I like the primary partner set up.  They are very logical.  I like the idea of going to a 9 conference game schedule.  By doing so, this may force the SEC to also do so.  The Big 12 and Pac 12 do this already.  The Big 10 will likely follow suit.  It is nice to see a conference actually doing something constructive for a change.

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: February 4, 2012 11:47 pm

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

Richmond and East Carolina?  You can't be serious.  ECU is a pretender at football and a joke at hoops.  ECU is also sub-par accademically.  Richmond is a good mid-major hoops school, great.  Richmond football?  Come on.

Pitt and Syracuse have great hoops programs.  Syracuse had a great football program in the 80's and could rebuild if they'd commit to it.  Pitt's football program has been solid for a long time.  They're both great fits for the ACC.

Since: Apr 1, 2010
Posted on: February 4, 2012 11:31 pm

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

"Looks a lot like the Big East of 10 yrs. ago." The names may be similar, cal84901. But the economics and academic strength are fare superior.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2012 6:15 pm

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

Looks a lot like the Big East of 10 yrs ago.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: February 4, 2012 3:57 pm

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

These two schools do not add much to the ACC. It has been a long time since either of them did well in football. For the Orangemen, one has to go back to the late '50s-early 60s when they beat Texas Christian and Texas in the Cotton Bowl to see Syracuse as a football powerhouse.

The ACC would do better to add East Carolina and the Richmond Spiders. The Pirates have been winning games against the ACC for a number of years now, and would likely be more competitive than Pittsburgh and Syracuse in a revamped ACC.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 4, 2012 6:22 am

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

There's no pleasing anyone when it comes to putting these schools into divisions.  Chances are that one division is going to have the upper hand for a certain run of seasons, just like the SEC.  Going to a nine-game season isn't that big a deal and certainly, if you are going to be in a conference, the idea is to play conference games.

Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: February 4, 2012 4:58 am

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

West Virginia is being selfish. No need to give a 2 weeks notice, and leave the big east like that. Agreements being broken is becoming a norm, although the Big Ten "Gentlement Agreement" was kind of a funny concept. Wait until 2014, not like you need the money or other in-state schools(Marshall) are gonna steal your recruits. Its as if they are doing everything to destroy the Big East, the conference that became their stepping stone to this larger Big 12 BCS oportunity. Shun the conference hoppers, for shame. If West Virginia wins this lawsuit, then at least Boise State may not have to pay for all those plane tickets, cause the sinking ship that is BIG EAST football will be heading for an iceberg to sink it faster than the Broncos can run back to the WAC and say "HEHEHEHE (horse sound) can we come back?"

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:19 pm

ACC ready for Pitt, Syracuse. But when?

No matter how the teams were to be split up into the two divisions, it would not please everyone anyway.  About East, West, North or South; it seems everyone has used these terms in identifying conference athletic divisions.  I think the ACC did well in naming their two Divisions ATLANTIC and COASTAL, and I along with many other fans are happy the Conference is keeping the same names for the future.  ACC fans welcome PITT and SYRACUSE into the Conference as soon as possible.  Kudos to the ACC for telling PITT and SYRACUSE we are ready for them as soon as they work out their departure from the BIG EAST.  Hopefully, PITT and SYRACUSE won't have to get into a law suit with the BE, and everyone involved will have some dignity in the outcome of their departure to the ACC.

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