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What If Louisville & Georgia Tech Swapped ACC Divisions?

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An interesting theory about shifting the ACC divisions around would get DOC Gross that media market access he craves.

Scott Cunningham

Ah, wishful ACC football divisional tinkering. I'd say it's an annual tradition but it feels like more of a weekly thing at this point.

There are so many ways you could mix and match the divisions to possibly make them more interesting, competitive, regional or just plain wacky. Some have merits, some not so much.

The limits of the divisional system are that there are some opponents you just won't play that often and markets you'll barely ever visit. That's especially true since the ACC is sticking with the 8 + 1 model.

We know DOC Gross would prefer to play nine conference games. And I can guarantee you he's totally cool with the potential "non-conference conference game" idea. He's on record saying he's willing to sacrifice regional and traditional rivalries for media market access and he's almost certainly talking about Miami and Atlanta, two markets that Syracuse will not play in all that often over the next decade.

So when I read David Teel's proposition to swap incoming ACC member Louisville out of the Atlantic Division with Georgia Tech in the Coastal Division, I was curious. How would this hurt or help Syracuse?

Well, it would certainly get SU to Atlanta much more often. The Orange would head there every other year, instead of the once-a-decade setup we have now (why we want to go back to Atlanta so often is a question for another time).

Of course the flip side is that is sacrifices the Louisville rivalry, which we already have from the Big East days. It also may or may not make our road to divisional glory harder, depending on what you think of GT and L'ville football. Personally, I don't think you make long-term plans based on short-term results, so it feels moot to me.

Plus, it does nothing to change the Miami situation, which if I had to guess, is the more interesting ACC market for us to get into more.

As Teel notes, a bunch of the top tier ACC programs would probably be against it. The shift would make Clemson and Virginia Tech crossover rivals, which makes both their annuals roads to the ACC Championship a little harder. And GT might not actually want to play FSU every year, all things considered.

As for Syracuse, it wouldn't change much on the field. Either way we're going to play a quality program. But if you're thinking like a brand manager, then the swap probably makes sense for SU. Better access to recruit-rich Georgia and more time in a major media market.

It's probably not going to happen, but, add it to the pile of ACC divisional ideas.