The ACC is discussing an alternative to a nine-game conference schedule and it could include the SEC.
Citing sources, ESPN reports ACC officials have discussed the idea. There are four ACC schools – Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Louisville – who already have a rivalry game scheduled with a team from the SEC.
It's a great idea for more games between big conference schools. However, it's far from a reality right now.
An SEC source told ESPN.com that the ACC's idea of an "8+1 model" was merely a concept that had been discussed only once and was a long way from being a reality. It was so premature, he said, that most athletic directors in the SEC hadn't even been briefed on it.
A spokesperson for SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said that the conference was looking at many options for its future scheduling format. The SEC has also considered a nine-game schedule and has its conference schedule only set for the next two seasons. The report also cited the SEC source saying that there wasn't a likely scenario where all the SEC schools would agree to the arrangement if it progressed.
Both schools currently have 14 teams, but haven't decided on a nine-game schedule for the future. The Big 12 and Pac-12 already have a nine-game conference slate, and the Big Ten will in 2014.
Let's have a Friday hypothetical, shall we? What would be the most intriguing ACC/SEC matchups possible? The four rivalries intact are Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech and Louisville-Kentucky. Those aren't going anywhere. That leaves 10 teams from each conference looking for a dance partner.
Matching up the teams based off divisions would seem logical, but all four of the aforementioned SEC teams are in the East. It wouldn't work. And there really aren't any rivalries to rekindle, from the SEC and ACC. South Carolina left the ACC in 1971, but has the Clemson matchup.
Though any possible ACC-SEC matchups wouldn't take place until 2016, the conferences could continue matchups that have happened in recent years. Wake Forest and Vanderbilt have a game scheduled for 2015. Texas A&M-Duke was a thriller in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Missouri played Syracuse last season. Virginia Tech played Alabama to open 2013. (Hokie fans probably wouldn't enjoy that game)
We'd also be open to rotating the eight teams amongst each other if the scenario was to play out. That way, any potential long-term mismatches could be avoided.
The SEC is also reportedly considering more regular matchups with Big 12 teams. If that happens, it's a great idea under one condition: Texas A&M has to play Texas and Missouri has to play Kansas. No SEC-Big 12 arrangement could be considered complete without those two games. It's unlikely that the conference would agree to games with both the ACC and Big 12, so one will probably be picked over the other.
So what's with all the discussions? Simply put, it's the new College Football Playoff. As teams scramble to figure out how much schedule strength will be a factor in the committee's decision-making process, a tough schedule isn't going to be a detraction, especially with four teams having a chance at the national title instead of two. A tough schedule could be a decisive tiebreaker.
What do you think? If the SEC wants to match up with another power conference, who should it choose? Would an agreement with the SEC work out for the ACC? Drop us a line in the comments below.
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