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Years between Syracuse vs. Duke matchups highlight ACC divisional issues

I promise we’re in the same football conference.

Duke v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange football team visits the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday, in the first matchup between the two teams since 2014. Due to Georgia Tech’s annual arrangement with Georgia, this game is actually a year before the usual rotation would’ve otherwise dictated. When SU faces off with Tech next year, it’ll be the first time those teams meet since 2013 (a game we don’t talk about).

This isn’t treading any new ground necessarily, but situations like this do highlight the inherent problems with the ACC’s current divisional setup. Syracuse faces Duke once every 5-6 years, and plays at Duke one out of every 12. For comparison, the Orange will wind up facing Western Michigan four times between 2018 and 2013 — more than they’ll face six different ACC teams in that same stretch.

So what’s the solution? Pods could work, as could the sort of permanent rivals setup we’ve discussed in the past here. It’s just obvious we’ve gotten to the point where having a cross=divisional rotation of one game every six years doesn’t do the trick. Some students will go their entire college careers without facing Duke, nevermind facing them in Durham. That’s not the sort of split that makes any sense for a conference from a scheduling perspective — or a conference cogency angle. The current arrangement simply doesn’t compute.

Do we honestly care about how often we face Duke football? No. But it’s the principle of it all, when it comes to the opponents we’re a little more concerned with: Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia... We don’t want to have to wait over a decade to see those teams at the Dome. So why do we have to? The ACC schedule needs to determine some sort of alignment that makes teams feel like conference-mates, instead of perfect strangers that see each other once a decade.

Again, know this falls on deaf ears. But provide your own conference scheduling fix below.