Clemson football: Cheering the end of divisions in the ACC

Clemson director of athletics Graham Neff talks during a press conference on Wednesday in Clemson.Clemson Director Of Athletics Graham Neff
Clemson director of athletics Graham Neff talks during a press conference on Wednesday in Clemson.Clemson Director Of Athletics Graham Neff /

The two teams with the best conference records should play for the championship.

It appears that the end of divisions, at least for football, is nearing its end for the ACC and I think that’s a good thing for Clemson football and the ACC as a whole.

The ACC has enough troubles without a 7-5 team playing for the title.

I’m generally against change for the sake of change, like swapping teams in and out of divisions because of which teams are “good” or “bad” over a five or ten year stretch.  It just seems short sighted, not to mention creating scheduling nightmares.

I understood going to divisions – it was a stupid NCAA rule in order to have a conference championship game and rake in the money.

But since that’s no longer the case, it makes complete sense to have the two teams with the best record in the conference matchup for the title.

I understand that both teams are still playing a subset of the conference members as a whole, but that’s always going to be the case in football, at least until they expand the schedule to a fifteen game regular season.  That’s a joke.  Kind of.

For once the ACC is keeping up with the current trend in college football

In the PAC-12 this type of arrangement would have meant changes in participation in five of eleven conference championship games, 45% for the mathematically challenged.

It’s not perfect and as others have indicated, there’ll be side effects and ramifications that are unknown as of yet, but it’ll be better than a five loss team in an ACC title game.

For those that point to the ACCs need to discuss with ESPN before making a final decision, where have you been for 20 years?  Everyone discusses things with their TV partners, it’s how the money is made.  Some conferences may have more leverage and some may not say it out loud, but you can bet it’s happening.

"Maximizing more appealing matchups across the league is another area where the ACC sees room for growth without divisions, so there have been extensive discussions with ESPN about what that could mean for television and, in particular, prime-time matchups."

How do the coaches feel?  Some like it and some don’t.

Predictably, Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi, who many believe is still living in the 1960s, hates the idea.

"Coaches are not unanimously in favor of getting rid of divisions. Several, including Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi, like having the opportunity to play for a division championship. Coaches did have the opportunity to offer feedback, but ultimately it is the ADs who will vote on what happens."

There’s no confirmation on the rumor that Narduzzi didn’t feel the same way after the 2018 ACC Championship game and would rather have sat that one out.

For me though, it boils down to this: You want to provide optimal opportunities for your best teams in the championship game, not a 7-5 team that happened to be in a weak division that season.  It’s really that simple.

Yes, there will be tradeoffs, but unless those tradeoffs are horrific in some way no one yet realizes, I believe this is the best move for the ACC.

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