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For now, ACC tables talk over eight- or nine-game league slate

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The Big 12, Pac-12 and, this season, the Big Ten will all play a nine-game league schedule this season.  Whether the ACC joins them at some point in the future remains to be determined.

Earlier this week it was reported that ESPN had gained scheduling concessions from the ACC in exchange for a conference network set to launch in 2019.  As part of those concessions, the ACC has to determine whether it wants to play eight conference games and two non-conference games against Power Five teams each season, or nine conference games plus one Power Five non-conference game.

Friday morning, ACC commissioner John Swofford and the conference’s 14 athletic directors participated in a conference call to discuss the scheduling issue, with the potential existing for a vote on the preference moving forward.  Instead, the league has tabled the talk for the moment.

“ACC athletic directors remained deadlocked Friday on the league’s future football scheduling model and delayed resolution, perhaps until October’s annual fall meeting,” David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press wrote.

Before concessions were made to ESPN in order to acquire their own network, it’s believed the conference’s athletic directors were 8-6 in favor of an eight-game slate.  A nine-game schedule would allow for teams to play those in the other division more often, and there seems to be a growing sentiment in favor of that tack.

According to Teel, however, “[s]chools with annual state rivalries against Southeastern Conference opponents – Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Louisville – advocate 8-plus-2.”  North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia are among those who favor the 9-plus-1 model.

Wake to offer stadium-wide alcohol sales in 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  A glass of ale is served at the CAMRA (campaign for real ale) Great British Beer festival at Olympia London exhibition centre on August 10, 2016 in London, England. The five day event is Britain's largest beer festival with around 55,000 people expected to attend. The festival features over 900 British real ales, ciders from around the world.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
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Another day, another school getting set to cash in on Saturday adult beverages.

Wake Forest has officially become the next to join a burgeoning trend, with the school announcing that it will offer stadium-wide alcohol ales for the 2016 season at BB&T Field.  Previously, alcohol had only been available in select areas of the stadium.

Beer and wine will now be available to anyone of age and with a ticket to the game.

“Our fans have responded favorably to being able to purchase beer and wine outside of Deacon Tower,” said Wellman. “We received excellent reviews on opening Top Hat Tavern. As we examined ways to increase the fan experience at BB&T Field, making these beverages more widely available was met with a favorable response from various constituencies of our program.”

The last two months, Ohio State and Pittsburgh have announced stadium-wide alcohol sales.  Additionally, both Florida and Penn State have announced it will sell alcohol in premium seating areas this upcoming season.

Boise State, though, announced in June that it’s request to continue selling alcohol had been nixed by the Idaho State Board of Education.

Former UNC, VaTech, Wake HC Bill Dooley passes away at age 82

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A trio of FBS programs are mourning the loss of one their former head coaches today.

The family of Bill Dooley confirmed that the long-time college coach passed away earlier today at the age of 82.  The stated cause of death was natural causes.

Dooley, the brother of legendary Georgia head coach Vince Dooley, was a coach at the collegiate level for 36 years.  For 26 of those years, he was a head coach at North Carolina (1967-77), Virginia Tech (1978-86) and Wake Forest (1987-92).

An offensive lineman at Mississippi State in the mid-fifties, Dooley finished with a career record of 162–126–5.  He went 69–53–2 with the Tar Heels, 63–38–1 with the Hokies as Frank Beamer‘s predecessor and 29–36–2 with the Demon Deacons.

In addition to his head-coaching duties in Blacksburg, he also served as the Hokies’ athletic director during his nine years at the school.

After starting his coaching career at his alma mater, his next stop was as an assistant on his brother’s Bulldogs staff from 1964-66.

With 11 years at UNC, Dooley was the longest-tenured head coach in the program’s history, while his 69 wins are tied with Mack Brown for second all-time at the school.  He’s also the coach to lead the Tar Heels to multiple ACC championships (1971, 1972, 1977).

“Coach Dooley was a great coach and an even better man who made a lasting impact on this university and on college football as a whole,” said current Carolina head coach Larry Fedora in a statement. “He touched the lives of the young men who played for him in a profound and special way. He proved that Carolina was a program that could produce a winning tradition and his legacy is something we strive to uphold each and every day. Our thoughts are with Marie and the entire Dooley family in this very difficult time.”

ACC reportedly nearing decision on 8 or 9-game conference schedule

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 29: Justin Thomas #5 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is pursued by Ramik Wilson #51 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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The ACC is reportedly nearing the end of a long discussion on whether or not to expand its conference slate from eight to nine games, with athletics directors set to speak on Friday and the issue at the top of the agenda.

The conference schedule has become a pressing issue for the league since the announcement of the ACC Network. Networks need inventory to survive. One can bet ESPN would vote, should it have one, to see the ACC mirror the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 in playing nine league games.

But there is an interesting alternative on the table. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the ACC may buttress its one-game Power Five non-conference game mandate by adding a second game.

From the paper:

Speaking at Tech’s media day, Bobinski brought up an intriguing alternative to the nine-game league schedule – keeping the league schedule at eight games but requiring that teams play two non-conference games against power-conference teams. The ACC already has a mandate that goes into effect in 2017 that league teams play one such game.

Said Georgia Tech AD Mike Bobinski: “I would tell that you that I think we’ll get that decision here in the next couple of weeks because we need to. You can’t put your non-conference schedule on hold forever. You’ve got to be able to move it, so getting the resolution on that’s important.”

Georgia Tech would figure to be in favor of the 8 + 2 model, as would Florida State, Clemson and Louisville, who all play in-state, SEC rivals to end the season and are not shy in scheduling additional Power Five games in non-conference play. (Both Florida State and Louisville have upcoming neutral site games with Alabama, Auburn opens at Clemson this season and Georgia Tech faces Tennessee in 2017.) There is also the Notre Dame agreement, where the Irish play nearly half the conference each season.

Should ACC teams not line up another Power Five foe, they would be allowed to schedule ACC teams in non-conference games, as North Carolina and Wake Forest will do in 2019 and 2021.

The ACC requires a simple majority to pass a rule, so a Jackets-Cardinals-Tigers-Seminoles alliance would need just four allies to pass the 8 + 2 model. The 9-game model lost a 2014 vote among ACC athletics directors by an 8-6 margin.

ACC media poll has Clemson repeating as conference champions

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 7: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers pumps up fans prior to the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
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DeShaun Watson is back from last year’s College Football Playoff runner-up, and with that, there was little debate in the ACC media poll about who will repeat as conference champions in 2016.

Clemson, with 144 votes, was picked to repeat as ACC champions in the conference’s annual media poll. Florida State (39), North Carolina (seven) and Louisville (one) also received votes.

Watson, the Tigers’ junior quarterback, was picked to be the ACC Player of the Year with 164 votes. Florida State running back Dalvin Cook (18), North Carolina running back Elijah Hood (four), Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya (two), Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (two) and Duke cornerback/returner DeVon Edwards (one) also received player of the year votes.

Here’s how the voting broke down by division, with first-place votes in parentheses:

Atlantic                    
1. Clemson (148) – 1,293
2. Florida State (42) – 1,176
3. Louisville (1) – 961
4. NC State – 704
5. Boston College – 441
6. Syracuse – 426
7. Wake Forest – 347
Coastal                
1. North Carolina (121) – 1,238
2. Miami (50) – 1,108
3. Pitt (14) – 859
4. Virginia Tech (3) – 697
5. Duke (2) – 597
6. Georgia Tech (1) – 588
7. Virginia – 261