ACC will keep 8-game conference football schedule

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 4, 2012 

The ACC had prepared to change its schedule models for football and basketball with the addition of two new schools next year.

Those plans changed when Notre Dame agreed last month to join the ACC as a full member in all sports except football.

The ACC football schedule will remain at eight games, the conference announced Wednesday after its league meetings in Boston, and the N.C. State-North Carolina basketball rivalry is officially safe.

The ACC had planned on going to a nine-game football schedule in 2013, with the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, but scrapped that after the new agreement with Notre Dame, which will play five ACC games each season beginning in 2014. The league will stay at an eight-game conference season for football.

In basketball, the league will have an 18-game schedule, beginning this season, and it will remain that way when Syracuse and Pitt join next season and Notre Dame joins, likely before the 2015-16 season.

The ACC will go back to having two "primary partners" in basketball, which means N.C. State and UNC will continue to play home-and-home games, as they have since 1919.

N.C. State will be primary partners with Wake Forest and UNC. UNC’s partners are State and Duke, and Duke’s partners are UNC and Wake.

The plan remains the same in football: Syracuse will join the Atlantic Division and Pittsburgh will play in the Coastal.

Notre Dame’s football agreement translates to playing every ACC school once every three years.

That led to a potential crunch in nonconference schedules, which would have been reduced to three games for each team, especially for Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech, which each annually play an SEC rival out of the conference.

"The addition of Notre Dame gives us an opportunity to reinforce a number of conference rivalries in basketball and Olympic sports while also giving our schools greater flexibility in nonconference football scheduling," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement released by the conference.

Also, the league formalized its plans to include all members in the ACC basketball tournament, with a five-day format and three games Wednesday. The top four seeds will receive byes into Friday’s quarterfinals.

The conference members also decided that any school ineligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions will be ineligible for regular-season or divisional title recognition.

The latter rule means the ACC would not recognize UNC’s football team this season if it wins the Coastal Division. The Tar Heels already were ineligible to play in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte because of previous NCAA violations.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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