Well, it’s done. I’ve been on vacation for the past week-plus in Yellowstone, so I’ve been without all that much contact with the real world, but I’m getting to see now that the ACC will be ditching the Coastal/Atlantic division formats and going with a division-less 3-5-5 breakdown.
Here are my gut reactions, both regarding Miami and the format as a whole...
Things I LOVE:
- The TRUE TWO BEST TEAMS will play for the championship. No 8-4 or 7-5 Coastal champ sneaking into Charlotte. This should pit the two most deserving teams in the conference against each other. Any time you get a true champion, that seems like a good thing.
- Miami and Boston College will rejuvenate a dormant, once fun rivalry. The rivalry has had some fun moments over the years, i.e., Flutie’s Hail Mary and Ed Reed’s lateral touchdown, but it’s otherwise been an afterthought since the teams quit playing annually after the current division format went into effect. I think BC is an interesting foe because of - again - history, but also because of the stark contrast between the respective cities and the traditional styles of play. I’m looking forward to going up to Chestnut Hills in the coming years.
- Miami and FSU will continue as annual foes. Because duh.
- With the exception of Miami (for obvious reasons) many of the schools’ three primary opponents are generally close regionally. That’ll help as far as fostering current rivalries as well as perhaps building some new ones. The research triangle will still play each other every year. UVA-Virginia Tech stays intact, as well as Syracuse vs. BC and Pitt, etc. Clemson will continue facing NC State each year, which is starting to become a fun little series. For the most part, I don’t hate what they’ve done as far as the 3 primary opponents.
Things I HATE:
- Getting rid of Miami - Virginia Tech is a STAIN on the league. While both teams have been struggling lately, there’s absolutely no reason to get rid of this annual rivalry. The schedules could have been made such that Louisville faced Wake Forest annually, with Virginia Tech and Miami staying put. But the ACC went the other direction, and as we’ve seen across the league over the past decade...another rivalry was given the back seat. And it was unnecessarily done in this case, with a via alternative available. BOO.
- Miami - Louisville. For all the reasons above. And it feels forced, like a “well, we’ve matched everyone else up, so, eh, let’s stick these two together.”
- Duke’s off the annual schedule. I like a layup every now and again, and Duke had started to become that lately, with Miami finally remembering it’s a far better program than the Blue Devils. Such is life.
- And so is UNC. They’ve felt like as much of a true ACC rival as anyone else Miami has faced over the past several years. Chapel Hill is also a terrific place to see a game. Makes me sad.
- The current format could create more unbalance and questions as far as the schedules and paths of the participants to the ACC championship game. While I laud having the two best teams play for the title under the new format, I bring this up because at least every team that represented their division in Charlotte under the current model played every other team in the division, with two other teams rotated in. Here, we won’t have as much uniformity, as teams’ schedules will be all over the place. Leaves some room for beefs, I suppose, but it is what it is.
So what do you all think about the new format? Love it? Hate it? Reasons? Let’s hear them...