CLEMSON - The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday it will return to an eight-game conference football schedule for 2013 and beyond.
Following the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh last year, the ACC had announced it would move to a nine-game schedule in 2013. The decision to scrap the nine-game schedule could be a move to placate Florida State and Clemson, which objected to the nine-game schedule because of their out-of-conference rivalries, and yet another incentive for Notre Dame to join as a full football member.
Divisions, primary crossover partners and rotating opponents from the opposite division will remain the same, meaning Clemson will play only one opponent from the Coastal Division each year besides Georgia Tech.
The move will allow greater non-conference scheduling flexibility, which was particularly needed once Notre Dame football agreed to play five games a year against ACC teams.
Clemson assistant athletic director Kyle Young said it is “great news” for Clemson.
“On a number of occasions we came to (the ACC) and begged and pleaded to get back to an eight-game schedule,” Young said. “Each time they took it to the athletic directors, this time other ADs saw benefits with retaining the eight-game schedule. (Notre Dame) is the one dynamic that changed.”
The expansion to 14 teams and nine-game schedule forced Clemson to drop non-conference series with Oklahoma State and Ole Miss.
Young wants to continue to schedule other nearby SEC teams in non-conference play.
The other negative aspect of a nine-game schedule was there would not be home-and-road balance in conference season.
The ACC also announced Clemson will continue to play Florida State and Georgia Tech, home-and-home in basketball each year.
The conference baseball tournament will be expanded to 10 teams and include a double-elimination format.