ACC considering 3-5-5 scheduling format, eliminating divisions
The ACC is considering a new football scheduling format that would see the conference get rid of its divisions and give teams an opportunity to play one another more frequently, ESPN's Andrea Adelson and David M. Hale report.
Commissioner Jim Phillips and multiple athletic directors have discussed implementing a 3-5-5 schedule format that would see each team play three permanent opponents, then rotate through the remainder of the conference over a two-year span (five one year, five the next).
"The two, I think, drivers to this: one, is the opportunity for our student-athletes to play every school in the ACC over a four-year period of time," Phillips said. "That's just not the case right now. The other piece of it is, I've always felt that was a local decision about how you handle your conference.
"You want your two best teams to have a chance to play at the end of the year for a lot of reasons."
Although a vote was not taken, there's optimism that the new schedule could reportedly be in place as early as 2023.
The ACC is currently made up of the Coastal and Atlantic divisions. The elimination of divisions would allow the two teams with the best record in the conference to compete in the ACC championship game.
The ACC briefly played in one division over a 10-game schedule during the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It resulted in Clemson and Notre Dame representing the conference in the College Football Playoff.
The NCAA football oversight committee recommended that conferences no longer be required to have divisions to hold a championship game. A formal vote is expected to take place and be approved by the NCAA Division I council later this month.
Some coaches within the conference are not in favor of the new format, but the decision will ultimately be up to the ADs.
The ACC has discussed the possibility of creating appealing matchups with its broadcast partner ESPN with the new format, an area the conference sees as having room for growth in the future.