The ACC is ending the divisions for the 2023 football season, replacing them with an eight-game conference schedule with three fixed opponents for each team.
Florida State’s annual rivalries with Miami and Clemson continue each year. The Seminoles’ other annual opponent is Syracuse.
Miami’s staunch enemies are Boston College, Louisville and FSU.
The other five conference opponents will rotate from 2023 to 2026, allowing each ACC team to play the other 13 once at home and once away in the four-year cycle. That hits a big goal in the ACC and other leagues (including the SEC): refreshing schedules that, in some cases, are outdated.
ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips called this the “most important” improvement. FSU has not played at Pitt since Jameis Winston’s debut in 2013, while Boston College has not visited Miami for 11 years.
“The new format means our season ticket holders will see every ACC team play at Doak Campbell Stadium over a four-year period,” FSU athletic director Michael Alford said in a statement. “It also allows every ACC football student and athlete to play at every ACC school every four years, which was one of the goals of the plan.”
Instead of the ACC Championship game featuring the winner of each division, the two teams with the highest winning odds of the conference in Charlotte, NC will go head-to-head to win the title. Alford cited this as a key reason for the need for the change. Another tent game should help the ACC better position itself for the college football playoffs, especially if (if) it expands.
However, there are some disadvantages.
Georgia Tech would have made sense as a firm opponent for FSU; Their stadiums are 275 miles apart, and Georgia is a significant part of FSU’s recruiting presence (just as Florida is key for the Yellow Jackets).
The bigger loss is Miami-Virginia Tech, a game that has been played every year since 1992 when both were in the Big East. They had a streak of seven consecutive top 20 games (including two in which both were inside the top five) from 1999 to 2005. Although the last memorable game of the series was Miami’s 28-10 win in 2017, which brought the Hurricanes closer to the Coastal Division title, the ending to this annual series is somewhat disappointing.
Although casual fans outside of the ACC footprint had trouble remembering which teams were in which division, the Coastal’s perennial parity was delightful. The division had seven different champions over a seven-year cycle. Most of them were mediocre, but the race was never boring. The coastal chaos is missed.
As part of the announcement, the ACC announced future conference matchups for the next four years. Dates, broadcast information and kick-off times will be announced later.
2023: home against Duke, Miami, Syracuse and Virginia Tech; at Boston College, Clemson, Pitt and Wake Forest
2024: Home vs. Boston College, Clemson, North Carolina and NC State; at Georgia Tech, Miami, Syracuse and Virginia
2025: Home against Miami, Pitt, Syracuse and Wake Forest; at Clemson, Duke, Louisville and Virginia Tech
2026: House vs. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Virginia; in Miami, North Carolina, NC State and Syracuse
2023: House vs. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Virginia; at Boston College in the states of Florida, North Carolina and NC
2024: home against Boston College, Duke, Florida State and Pitt; in Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse and Wake Forest
2025: home against Louisville, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia Tech; at Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia
2026: Home vs. Boston College, Florida, Syracuse and Wake Forest; at Duke, Louisville, Pitt and Virginia Tech
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