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ACC and Big Ten discussing playing non-conference games against conference opponents

NCAA Football - Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech - October 28, 2004

The ACC and Big Ten spring meetings are going on in different locations, but the same absurd topic is being discussed in each. Both conferences are openly discussing the possibility of having members schedule other conference members in non-conference match-ups that would not count in the conference standings.

In the Big Ten meetings, Penn State Athletics Director Dave Joyner says the Big Ten is hinting it is a possibility as the conference looks to figuring out how to fill non-conference schedules with FCS teams being cut from the list of options.

“That’s a unique concept we could talk about more,” Joyner said according to “That’s a possibility.”

The ACC announced this week the conference will maintain a football schedule consisting of eight conference games and require each member to schedule one team from a power conference each season. For most schools in the ACC, this will be no issue with a handful of teams already having locked rivalry games against SEC rivals and with Notre Dame appearing on schedules on a rotating basis in future years (Notre Dame will fulfill the requirement). A non-conference match-up between ACC members would count toward fulfilling that non-conference requirement. Should it?

Openly discussing all of the options on the table is just fine. That is what these meetings are for, to figure out ways to best serve the conference in a changing landscape. But do not be fooled into thinking this is ever going to actually happen. Conference teams playing each other in non-conference match-ups may serve fans well and provide for more attractive games for most, it ultimately does the conference more harm by hurting overall conference strength of schedule and win totals. Imagine the Big Ten having one bowl spot left unfilled because one of their teams lost to another Big Ten team in a non-conference match-up. The school loses out on a potential win that could have been picked up by scheduling another school and the conference ends up missing out on more bowl revenue.

It is a unique discussion, and perhaps in certain situations a rare match-up could make sense, but it just is not something that will serve the conference’s best interests. Until college football expands to a 14-game regular season, the problems with conference scheduling will continue to unfold.

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10 Responses to “ACC and Big Ten discussing playing non-conference games against conference opponents”
  1. davefromwork says: May 14, 2014 8:50 AM

    Why not schedule an ACC/Big 10 challenge for football? Have the conferences play each other once a year.

  2. canetic says: May 14, 2014 9:17 AM

    The Big 10 doesn’t want any part of the ACC.

  3. classyjacklambert says: May 14, 2014 10:25 AM

    Canetic is right, the ACC is just a much better conference from top to bottom right now. But in a couple of year that could change, the conference strengths change like the ride, with exception of the SEC which usually remains on the top.

  4. chunkala says: May 14, 2014 11:44 AM

    Yup, Ohio State wants no part of Wake Forest.

    Why not just adjust the bowl qualification criteria to winning at least 3 games, that way you can schedule whomever you want. 6 wins, 3 wins, no difference, the teams still suck.

  5. cyraider says: May 14, 2014 1:15 PM

    Or play 9 conference games like a real conference…..

  6. thraiderskin says: May 14, 2014 1:34 PM

    The B1G and ACC play each other in CBB each year, why not have an ACC v. B1G challenge in football? That would be awesome, especially since opponents are rotated.

  7. thraiderskin says: May 14, 2014 1:35 PM

    Woops, sorry Dave… it didn’t show your comment when I was posting.

  8. homeagainsnaphots says: May 14, 2014 2:04 PM

    Two conferences that need to punch up their SOS because there are only 2-3 teams in conference that don’t suck!

  9. drummerhoff says: May 14, 2014 2:26 PM

    yet another reason why 14 conference members is very hard to please all members.

    the b1g already split geographically and the original members in the west aren’t happy with no OSU, Michigan on the schedule. So this idea is probably supported by Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin & NW.

    the best thing the acc can do is split the divisions as north v south. The southern acc schools would be much better off with a better SoS. the northern schools can schedule Miami & FSU as OoC.

  10. rocket1988 says: May 14, 2014 3:53 PM

    The ACC is better off with the split it has. Every team including ND wants to play in Fla at least once a year for recruiting. Even the PAC 12 could be shuffled for better division matchups. I don’t think Wiscy is worried about not playing the heavies from the east, they can play them in the conf champ game.

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