It's a more elegant setup, for sure. But you have the problem of maintaining annual rivalries. For example, UNC, NC State, UVa and VT must be in the same pod, with UVa and UNC maintaining their long rivalry.
That leaves four schools south of North Carolina that you would probably want in the same pod for travel purposes: Clemson, Miami, GT and FSU. That means four of your toughest teams, and three of your true 'football schools' are packed in one pod, and only one can play in the ACCCG.
I guess you could group Duke and Wake in with the six northern schools (e.g., BC, Cuse, Pitt, Maryland, Notre Dame and Notre Dame's choice), but they would bitch and moan to no end. Plus, the two 'northern' pods would likely be weak.
Pods have problems too, although the 2 year play cycle is appealing.
I don't think it's as bad as you suggest. UNC and UVa aren't "real" football rivals--they are rivals in all other sports, but their football rivalry is not compelling enough to let it impact scheduling. Even in a packed geographic pod like a southern pod with FSU, Clemson, GT and Miami it's still only 3 of your 9 games. All other teams are still playing at least 2 of the southern pod every year anyway, so the marginal difference is only 1 game. I'd also submit to you that the perceived difficulty in SOS for the southern pod is something that at least FSU and Clemson have been clamoring for--they want to play teams in their geographic sphere and FSU wants better home games to fill their seats.
Besides, the last decade has proved against the predictions of the ACC that predicting the strength of individual teams into the future is dubious at best. For many in the ACC, Wake Forest has been as difficult an out as Miami in the last decade. Who knows how Virginia Tech will be when Frank Beamer leaves or who can predict the upside that Maryland has with the right coach and a few good recruiting classes?
Last edited by Hateful Hokie; Mon Jun 25 2012 at 06:39 PM.
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