ACC unveils scheduling plans for 14-team league

John Swofford

CLEMSON -- Football teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference will play nine conference games per season when Syracuse and Pittsburgh join the conference.

ACC teams currently play eight conference games and four non- conference games. The number of non-conference games will be reduced to three.

Syracuse will join Clemson in the Atlantic Division and Pittsburgh will play in the Coastal Division.

ACC commissioner John Swofford said it is unclear when Syracuse and Pittsburgh will join the conference, but associate commissioner Mike Finn told the Charlotte Observer last month it is unlikely to be in time for inclusion in the 2012 football season.

The basketball schedule will be expanded to 18 games for the 2012-13 season, and the new schedule will end some traditional home-and-home series.

"We have been engaged in discussions on the various options for integrating Pitt and Syracuse since early fall," Swofford said in a statement. "It's a tremendous tribute to the leadership at our schools that we will be able to seamlessly add Pitt and Syracuse at the appropriate time when they become full playing members."

The new schedule format in football consists of each team playing all six division opponents each season plus its primary crossover rival each year -- Clemson's primary crossover rival is Georgia Tech -- and two rotating opponents from the opposite division.

The new basketball schedule will end traditional home-and-home basketball series between long-time rivals like N.C. State and North Carolina, and Wake Forest and Duke, causing outrage among traditionalists Friday.

"With the changes that come with larger conferences, you're going to

lose some things you would prefer to keep," Swofford told the Daily Press (Va.).

While the expanded number of conference basketball games was previously announced, the ACC announced each team will now have one "primary" partner in basketball.

Clemson will be paired with Georgia Tech. Duke will be paired with North Carolina, N.C. State with Wake Forest, Virginia with Virginia Tech, Miami with Florida State, Maryland with Pittsburgh and Syracuse with Boston College.

The scheduling model will be based on a three-year cycle when teams will play every league opponent at least once each season and a home-and-home series every season with its primary cross-division rival. The remaining four regular season games will rotate between opponents.

The ACC said creating more competitive balance was a driving factor behind the new basketball plan.

All 14 league members will continue to compete in the men's and women's tournaments.

All non-revenue team sports will continue to play each conference team at least once during the regular season, with baseball as the exception, since those programs do not play all conference opponents.

Atlantic Division

Boston College

Clemson

Florida State

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Maryland

N.C. State

Syracuse

Wake Forest

Coastal Division

Duke Georgia Tech

Pittsburgh

Miami

North Carolina

Virginia

Virginia Tech