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ACC could scrap football divisions as early as 2023

Positive change is coming, finally.

Clemson v NC State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Good news, everyone! It appears the days of the Atlantic and Coastal football divisions are numbered. The ACC’s spring meetings are underway this week, and officials came together already leaning toward the notion of eliminating the divisions in football.

Now it seems all but a done deal.

The above scheduling model refers to three permanent partners and five rotating opponents, which would allow everybody to play everybody once every two years rather than, say, once every like seven. That’d be nice, if you ask me.

The ACC will still be able to hold a title game without the divisions—the NCAA is about to loosen rules on that front, making the matter moot. And the advantages to staging a game without the divisions are obvious, since the league is going to get the best matchup every year, rather than forcing everyone to watch Clemson play a bunch of schlubs that just went 7-5. Better title game matchups can only help the league in terms of both attention and perception, and that’s important, too.

The big matter to settle is who gets who as a permanent opponent. Which three schools would you want to see in those spots for NC State?

The ACC could hit the easy button and assign the Big Four schools to each other—meaning State, Wake, Duke, and Carolina play each other every year, guaranteed—which I wouldn’t mind. But there are other considerations and other schools’ preferences to consider, so I’ll actually be surprised if it works out that way.

Figure NC State does get two of three, though. UNC for certain. That’s a lock; that won’t change. Wake would be a better choice than Duke from a competitive standpoint. And then maybe Clemson to preserve the Textile Bowl? Sure would like to avoid Clemson here though. We just got out from under the damned division!