Brett McMurphy’s source did not indicate when the decision would occur, though one would assume that still comes soon since any new scheduling format would have to be in place by 2019.
As of right now, the league will choose between two options: a nine-game conference schedule, which it originally had in place in 2012 before Notre Dame joined as a partial member. And an “8 + 2” model that would require two P5 games on top of the ACC’s eight league games. We’ve already covered why the latter is not a great idea.
But there are problems with the nine-game schedule as well, especially if you’re one of the four schools with SEC rivals (Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville). In years when you’re on the Notre Dame rotation, that would mean 11 of 12 games are accounted for, all against power opponents.
Citing coach conversations from ACC Football Kickoff, McMurphy says that only Miami’s Mark Richt and Syracuse’s Dino Babers favored a nine-game schedule of the league’s 14 coaches. However, the coaches were not the ones supposed to be casting votes this morning.
Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher made a pretty compelling point for increased scheduling flexibility in an ESPN interview with Jared Shanker last night, calling out how too many conference games would hurt programs at the FCS level on down:
"I'll make a statement and if people don't like it, fans [don't like it]: If you don't play an FCS ... how do they make their budget? By playing a big school. How's the Division IIs make their budget? Playing an FCS," Fisher said. "When you start taking these budgets away, where are all the high school football players going to go? Why are they going to play football when all these teams drop football? You're killing the sport for ego."
So for now, we wait. There’s no perfect solution for all members here, and that further complicates matters. What’s good for Syracuse isn’t necessarily good for Clemson, and vice versa. Hopefully the conference has a more measured bit of conversation around the issue before making a final decision. In the meantime, don’t expect much scheduling news from the Orange (like we ever got much anyway...) with demands on future schedules still up in the air.