Who's happy? Who's unhappy?
By ROB DANIELS, Staff Writer
News & Record
Q: What does all this scheduling stuff mean?
A: It's a two-year arrangement that will be re-examined in 2006. Sooner if the ACC adds a 12th member.
Q: Is the annually guaranteed basketball round-robin among Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest dead?
A: Not necessarily. Wake knows it's playing Georgia Tech and N.C. State twice in both years, for example, but the full schedule won't be released until January. Everybody has two perpetual opponents and will play four other schools twice in both seasons. The identity of those four "round-robin" teams will be released in January. Each team will play the remaining four clubs once. That adds up to 16 conference games.
Q: What's the football format going to be?
A: Everybody plays eight conference games per season and avoids two teams -- the same two teams -- in both years covered under the agreement.
Q: What's the women's basketball format?
A: Everybody plays 14 league games. Each team will face four other "primary opponents" twice a year and the remaining six once per season.
Q: Nobody's going to admit they dislike their deal. But who's got to be happiest?
A: North Carolina basketball retains the guarantee of twice-a-year meetings with Triangle rivals Duke and N.C. State. The Maryland football team is spared Miami in 2004 and '05, and Virginia Tech won't have to tangle with Florida State in those years.
Q: And who's unhappiest?
A: In football, Carolina, State, Wake and Virginia play the powerful triumvirate of Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech in both seasons. N.C. State won't see Duke, the league's worst team lately, in either year.
Q: Why aren't the women playing as many conference games as the men in basketball?
A: Among other reasons, the league's coaches were concerned that a 16-game schedule was compromising their NCAA tournament chances. Less equals more, in other words.
Q: What about the schedules in other sports?
A: Their formats won't change. Miami and Virginia Tech will be plugged into the schedules of every sport in which they field teams. ACC schools play each other once in everything except for volleyball (twice). Baseball will play 30 conference games -- 10 series of three games apiece.
Q: What's up with expansion?
A: While nobody will talk about it, the matter almost certainly has to be resolved quickly. The ACC is moving forward with its petition to the NCAA to permit a conference championship football game with fewer than 12 teams, but the future of that request is murky at best. It will either be killed in January or put up for a final vote in April. Either way, that's a long time to wait without knowing if the league can conduct the financially necessary contest.
The game is a mandate, because starting in the 2006-07 academic year, when Miami and Virginia Tech become full financial partners, the conference is going to have to divide its revenue 11 ways rather than nine. Every school will take a hit if the estimated $8 million to $10 million from the championship game isn't available. If the ACC adds a 12th member, it can drop the request and play the game.
Boston College is the most likely choice. Previous opposition to BC, based largely on geography, could fade quickly. Virginia, which played political hardball and managed to get Virginia Tech into the ACC, owes everybody. The three Triangle schools would have to form a solid bloc to turn aside BC again.
Contact Rob Daniels at 373-7028 or firstname.lastname@example.org