247Sports — The NCAA may soon clear the runway for conferences to scrap divisions, and the ACC is preparing to move forward under that assumption.
The conference is deep in serious discussions to shake up its scheduling format for football, with three permanent rivals and five rotating opponents gaining momentum among athletic directors, Miami athletics director Dan Radakovich said Tuesday outside the ACC’s spring meetings. The ACC is not expected to vote on a proposal this week at its spring meetings but movement could be swift in the ensuing months. The league's brass is scheduled to meet Wednesday with television partner ESPN to discuss options. The conference could institute the new 3-5 rotation — or a similar format — as soon as the 2023 season.
It has not been often recently that anyone would give props to the ACC for something pertaining to football, but if this idea comes to fruition, it could be the best thing that conference has done in a long time.
As soon as 2023, the ACC seems prepared to abandon its Coastal and Atlantic divisions in favor of a model where teams would play three opponents every season and five of the remaining 10 every other year. I've lobbied for this very model several times on this website before in the SEC, but every conference currently using divisions should move to a pod system. It's nonsensical to have schools like Georgia and Texas A&M or Clemson and North Carolina be in the same conference and visit each other's campus once every three presidential terms — A&M has been in the SEC since 2012 and has not hosted UGA in that time.
Obviously this helps with competitive balance because every school will play each other at least every other year, but it also just makes college football more fun. The ACC Coastal and Atlantic may as well be separate conferences as things stand right now. If you're a Virginia fan who enjoys traveling to watch the Cavaliers play, you only get to go to Clemson or Florida State every dozen years or so. Not to mention this likely eliminates the potential of a 6-6 team playing in a conference championship game, which the ACC had in 2012. Create the pods and then have the two best teams play at the end of the year.
We want the pods. Give us all the pods.