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ACC Schools May Schedule Non-Conference Games Against Each Other, or, DOC Gross Will Not Be Denied

Syracuse could play Miami or Georgia Tech in a "non-conference game" soon.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

If we've learned anything in the ten years since DOC Gross took the helm of Syracuse Athletics, it's that he almost always gets what he wants. DOC's determination and single-minded focus for what he thinks is best for the Syracuse Orange is rarely denied.

So when the ACC decided that they were going to stick with the eight-game football schedule, instead of backing a DOC Gross-led nine-game movement, smart SU fans had to know there was another trick up his sleeve.

As the power five conferences discuss their future scheduling rules in the playoff era, there's a chance we'll see an unfamiliar sight — two conference opponents playing a non-conference game. According to ESPN, that's on the table for both the ACC and the Big Ten.

Well, you said we're required to play a team from a Power 5 Conference...but you didn't say WHICH conference, Swoffy.

In the ESPN piece by Brett McMurphy, I'll give you one guess which A.D. is the first one to talk positively about this idea...

"Everything's on the table," Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said.

As silly as the idea sounds, there's logic in the madness. Say, for instance, Syracuse looks at the future schedule and doesn't see any ACC road games in recruit-heavy Miami or major market Atlanta for five years. Why not schedule a game against Miami in the interim to ensure that we get exposure?

DOC gets Syracuse the access it requires, he also gets his "ninth conference game," and Syracuse gets to say it added the requisite Power 5 Conference team to its schedule.

Of course, it's still ridiculous. I consider myself a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to conferences and divisions. It's absurd to play a team in your conference and not have it count as a conference game. That's supposed to be the point. Otherwise, why bother having conferences at all?

BUT...this is college football we're talking about. It's already an absurd enterprise where Maryland is in the Big Ten, West Virginia is in the Big 12 and everyone is in it for the money except when they're talking about the guys actually playing. What's "playing a conference opponent in a non-conference game" added to the mix? It's like adding strychnine to a vat of anthrax. It's dumb but it's not gonna make the overall result any worse than was already gonna be.