The ACC has approved a nine-game league football schedule and 18 conference games for men’s and women’s basketball and has assigned newcomers Pittsburgh and Syracuse into divisions for football. They were among several scheduling formats made official Friday at a league meeting of athletic directors and faculty athletic representatives.
Pittsburgh will join Georgia Tech’s Coastal Division, while Syracuse will become part of the Atlantic. Those changes, as well as the nine-game league schedule, will go into place once those schools join the ACC from the Big East. It has yet to be determined when that will happen, but the schools are under contract to remain in the Big East through the 2013-14 academic year.
Each school will play its six division opponents with three crossover games, including its primary partner. Tech’s will remain Clemson.
The Coastal Division, including Tech, appears to be receiving the stronger football team in recent history. The Panthers have averaged 7.6 wins and made four bowl trips in the past five years, compared to 4.4 wins and one for the Orange. Over 10 years, Pitt has averaged 7.4 wins with seven bowl trips while Syracuse’s average is 4.3 wins with two bowl trips. Perhaps most tellingly, Pitt is 9-1 against Syracuse in the past 10 games, although Syracuse had won 11 in a row prior to that.
Since the league split into two divisions beginning with the 2005 season, the Atlantic is 69-64 against Coastal teams including ACC championship games.
In basketball, each member will have one primary partner. Tech’s will be Clemson. The other 12 opponents will rotate in groups of four. Each season, a team will play home and away with one group (eight games), home against another group (four games) and away against the last group (four games). Over a three-year cycle, primary partners will play each other six games and all the other members four times.
All 14 teams will compete in the men’s and women’s conference tournaments. The format was not released Friday.
The remaining team sports will continue to play each conference member at least once during the regular season with the exception of baseball. Like football, baseball is split into two divisions and teams do not play every conference opponent.