So this came out late in the week. I’ll be honest. I hate the idea that they want to start the season with conference play. I get it’s a bit different, but college basketball made the correct switch coming into this year.
The sport decided to start the season on a Tuesday instead of Friday. That was step 1 and it made all the sense in the world. You’re not getting lost in the weekend of football. You have two days in the middle of the week – Tuesday for preview, Wednesday for recap – where you can be the center story as much as possible. Second was starting the season off with the Champion’s Classic. We’re getting Kansas vs Michigan State and Kentucky vs Duke to open the season this year. That’s awesome. That draws views. People will watch those games because even the most casual fan knows those four names.
So now the ACC is trying to compete here with the Champion’s Classic? Does that mean the ACC is going to start the schedule off without Duke? That’s not ideal. Now, that said, they are on the right path here.
What the ACC needs to do is move these games a week back. Play them after the Champion’s Classic and before the Maui Invitational/Battle 4 Atlantis. That will keep people interested in the mid-week games when there’s minimal football on. The key to this though is not blowing your load with something dumb like Duke vs UNC to start the season. That deserves to be played late. But, Duke vs Notre Dame. UNC vs NC State. Syracuse vs Pitt (old Big East). Miami vs Florida State. Things like that would at least draw some eyes to the sport earlier than normal.
So we’re on the right path here. Just don’t start the season off with conference games. I’m begging you here.