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What’s the best hypothetical ACC division realignment for Syracuse?

The ACC won’t realign divisions, but that doesn’t mean we avoid talking about it every year.

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, we wonder if the ACC is going to get around to realigning the terrible (and terribly named) Atlantic and Coastal divisions.

At one point, the league at least humored us on the idea. But recently, the idea’s not even floated anymore. Despite the Atlantic Division (and the same two teams) taking home seven straight conference titles, teams not facing one another for six years and naming conventions no one cares about, the league is collectively still fine with this arrangement.

We’ve floated some of our own ideas before, so this is not a new topic here at your home for John bitching about scheduling-type things (TM). But other schools are equally curious about what a fix could look like. One of those, recently, was Wake Forest — or specifically, our friends at Demon Deacons site Blogger So Dear.

Ned Harwood over at BSD threw out several ideas a week or so ago. So I went ahead and ranked them by what’s most appealing for the Syracuse Orange:

NCAA Football: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

1. Pods (potentially requires Notre Dame)

  • Pod 1: Clemson, Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest
  • Pod 2: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech
  • Pod 3: Boston College, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

For us, this is ideal, and you can do this with or without Notre Dame, really. We’ve proposed pod systems before and in all of them, Syracuse ends up with some semblance of BC/Pitt/Louisville. Clemson would lose their goddamn minds being in pod 1, so maybe swap them and Virginia? Though if you do that, Pod 2 is guaranteed to be hell.

2. North vs. South

  • North: Boston College, Louisville, Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech
  • South: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest

Ned proposed something like this, but included Notre Dame in the North (plus a potential expansion team which would likely be UConn or Cincinnati). I’m dealing in what we can do right now, though, so Miami gets sent to the North since half of its student body (at least) is from there anyway and it’s a better divide that keeps a Florida school in both divisions. Syracuse gets games against all of the teams they want to play annually, and we’re removed from the annual FSU-Clemson gauntlet. Seems fine, for the most part.

3. Legacy vs. New Teams

  • Legacy: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest
  • New: Boston College, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia Tech

Hard no. This is basically what we deal with already, but with Miami and Virginia Tech added. Sounds awful all around and gives Clemson a free pass to the ACC title game nine out of every 10 years if current program status holds for foreseeable future.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The one additional idea not broached here is the one we’re the biggest fans of: the permanent rivals system that would give Syracuse games against BC, Pitt and Louisville each year, then rotate the other five opponents so you play everyone else more frequently (see link up top). It’s the most flexibility and gives you the easiest way to play key rivals as well (a big concern for many of the ACC schools that aren’t Syracuse).

But which design would you prefer? Even if we go division-less (please!), having three permanent rivals is probably still the way to go for ease of implementation.

Have at it in the comments, though.