- Mar 15, 2013
I agree that most of the southern schools will want the four northern schools to play each other but it would be a major error. Your solution is easier up front but we will all suffer problems later because the football power is concentrated in the south.
Each northern school should get a southern school to keep as little N/S and BE/ACC analogy from creeping in as well as additional exposure for southern kids. The four northern most and four southern most teams should have one permanent opponent in the opposing region. The six in the middle can mix it up amongst themselves however they like. This also allows FSU to keep Miami and either Clemson or GATech on as permanent opponents while still playing the other 2 of 4 years.
Keeping all things super regional will only work to keep the ACC fractionalized with the Carolina four plus UVA retaining too much power/influence. Keeping the northern schhols aligned with the southern schools keeps football the primary focus of the conference. It also makes recruiting in the south much easierfor football and in the north for hoops. Both sports benefit.
If they want to mix in the central teams the keep it 1 northern team, 1 central team and 1 southern team as permanent opponents.
No answer is perfect but keeping it all close to home will essentially keep the northern schools down as far as competiting for championships. The SOS would be forever skewed down as well as perception and recruiting will be more difficult. We would play in FL twice in four years, GA and SC once each in four years.
I agree with you IF the set up was in some kind of pods. If we had a pod called "Northeast" then I think there is an issue as you said. At one time I supported that kind of setup, but I think going away from podding it up that way sidesteps that perfectly.
In this circumstance we are describing, there is no artificial division like that...just mandated opponents. Believe me, nobody outside the ACC and half the fans inside the ACC are going to have no idea who Syracuse's set rivals are. Plus, the rotation of the other schools through the conference will be so much faster it's going to be almost unnoticeable. There will be no "big east" perception. Syracuse would have FSU, Miami, GT or Clemson on the schedule almost every year anyway.
But to artificially "mix it up" regionally without regard to traditional opponents, proximity and rivalry...we've tried it. It's no good and has done nothing for any program in the North or South. I absolutely disagree that keeping it close to home is going to hurt Syracuse or other northern teams from competing for championships. Syracuse will have a MUCH better chance much sooner to be in an ACC championship race in this scenario in a year where they draw maybe Clemson OR Florida state (or neither) than being stuck in a division where they have to crawl over both of those two every single year.