Count Duke coach David Cutcliffe among those opposed to the ACC adopting a nine-game conference football schedule.
“I would be vehemently against that,” Cutcliffe said Wednesday, leaving no wiggle room on the issue.
The league’s new TV deal with ESPN has brought about the demand for more football “inventory” — a nice way of saying ESPN would like more conference games to televise by 2019. The ACC has played eight conference games a season since Florida State joined the league in 1992.
“I’m not in favor of it. I don’t see any advantage to it,” Cutcliffe said. “To me there are so many other things we can focus on. And I think if we did it, it’s only for financial reasons. I see no reason.”
Cutcliffe noted that in addition to playing eight ACC games, ACC teams now have “this Notre Dame thing on a rotation.” The Blue Devils face the Irish this season while having nonconference games against Northwestern, Army and N.C. Central.
“The ACC probably is playing, overall, maybe the toughest schedule right now,” he said. “So I don’t see any value whatsoever in it personally. I don’t know who’s for it or who’s against it, I haven’t bothered to pay attention.”
The two options given the ACC are a nine-game ACC slate with one game against a “Power-5” conference opponent, or eight league games plus two “Power-5” opponents, dubbed the “8+2” model.
Cutcliffe said one thing he would like in scheduling is having traditional playing dates for certain games, noting the success of such dates in the Southeastern Conference.
“How great would that be, for television inventory, fan inventory, to know the third Saturday in October we know what’s happening?” he said. “You plan ahead, you get more people traveling. Let’s go to work on that. That seems to have a lot of value.”
CAMP NOTES: Quarterback Thomas Sirk will not take part in a scrimmage Friday night, Cutcliffe said. Cutcliffe said by the Tuesday practice before the Sept. 3 opener against N.C. Central, he will need to see Sirk “cut and change direction, be able to run in the range of what his 40 time is” to be fully prepared to play. ... While saying cornerback Bryon Fields has looked “incredible” in camp, Cutcliffe said he’s working so hard the coaches had to back him off a bit on Wednesday. Fields is coming off an ACL injury that sidelined him last season and Cutcliffe said he is a “little sore.” ... Cutcliffe praised redshirt freshman linebacker Joe Giles-Harris for his work in Wednesday practice, saying he made a lot of plays. … Freshman wide receiver Scott Bracey (hamstring) continues to be sidelined.