October 1, 2003 - by
ACC Office Structure For League Play in Football and Men’s and Women’s Basketball

Oct. 1, 2003

Charlottesville, VA –
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today the structure for league play in football and men’s and women’s basketball. This is a rather difficult document to post so we have broken down to the essential components.


Please note that the divisions listed for football ONLY APPLY should the league begin playing a championship game. The ACC will not use a divisional format unless a
league championship game is approved.


Each school in football has been designated a primary partner (this list is football only) and they are paired on this list so FSU from Division A is paired with Miami in Division B. The paired schools (known as primary scheduling partners) will meet every year. If the ACC does not play a championship game, FSU will play Miami and seven other ACC schools for a total of eight conference games. The Seminoles will not play Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech in 2004 and 2005. A list of which schools will not play is located just below the model for Divisional Play.

Division Breakdown (In the event of a championship game)
Division A              	Division B
Maryland                	Virginia
Clemson         		Georgia Tech
NC State                   North Carolina
Wake Forest                Duke
Florida State           	Miami
                        	Virginia Tech


Florida State will play the following home football games in 2004: Clemson, Virginia, Duke and North Carolina.


Florida State will play the following away football games in 2004: Maryland, Wake Forest, NC State and Miami


Please note the schedule of games has not yet been released.



The ACC schools WOULD NOT play two league teams every year. For 2004 and 2005, the teams who would not play are:


FSU would not play Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech in next two seasons
Miami would not play Maryland and Duke in next two seasons
Clemson would not play N. Carolina and Virginia Tech in next two seasons
Duke would not play NC State and Miami in next two seasons
Georgia Tech would not play Wake and Florida State in next two seasons
Maryland would not play North Carolina and Miami in next two seasons
NC State would not play Virginia and Duke in next two seasons
North Carolina would not play Maryland and Clemson in next two seasons
Virginia would not play Wake Forest and NC State in next two seasons
Wake Forest would not play Virginia and Georgia Tech in next two seasons
Virginia Tech would not play Clemson and FSU in next two seasons




The structure for basketball will be different and there will be NO provisional divisional format for either men’s or women’s basketball. The following are some questions and answers that should help along with the list of partner schools for basketball.


Most Commonly Asked Questions


ACC Football Scheduling


Q. How will the Conference be organized? Will it be in one division or two?


A. If the ACC does not hold a Championship Football Game, then the league will be organized into one division. If the ACC is able to host a championship game, then the league will be divided into two divisions. A Divisional Schedule Model will be used as a base for the schedule in its first two years.


Q. Why is the ACC schedule just for two years?


A. Due to the uncertainties surrounding the championship game, the ACC has decided to develop a flexible, two year schedule for the 2004 and 2005 football seasons, that will allow the league to be one division if there is not a championship game, but with the ability to break into two separate divisions, if the ACC is able to have a championship game. After two years, the schedule and divisional alignment will be re-evaluated for fairness and balance.


Q. Why does each team play the same teams in 2004 and 2005?


A. The football schedule is designed in two-year increments which allows each school to play home and away with each of its current set of scheduling partners before moving onto a new set of scheduling partners.


Q. How many regular season conference games will be played for football and why?


A. Every team in the ACC will play eight conference games as they have since the league expanded in 1992. This allows each team to have a minimum of three non-conference opponents and provides the necessary flexibility in their non-conference schedules to be able to have a minimum of six home games every year, even if they have two home and away non-conference series scheduled.


This also allows each team to have an equal number of home and away Conference games each year which is not the case with an odd number of Conference games.


Q. What is the difference between the Divisional Schedule Model and the Big Ten Schedule Model?


A. In the Divisional Model, the Conference would be split into two divisions, one of five teams the other of six. Teams in each division will play four games in their division and four games out of their division. Each team, with the exception of Virginia Tech, will have a Primary Scheduling Partner in the other division which they will play each year. Because there are an odd number of teams, two teams in the larger division will not play each other each year. Two teams rotate on a team’s schedule every two years, and two rotate off every two years. In the Divisional Model it takes a six-year rotation for schools to play everyone in this model.


In the Big Ten Model, the Conference would play in one division. Each school would most likely have two Primary Scheduling Partners they would play every year, with the other six games rotating among the other eight schools, two on, two off every two years. In the Big Ten Model, it would take a school eight years to rotate through the entire Conference.


Q. What are the concerns or criteria in scheduling?


A. The primary concern in scheduling is fairness, balance and to create as little disruption in each of our ACC teams’ schedules as possible with a desire to maintain as many of the rivalry games throughout the league as possible each year. This means a team which played a Conference opponent at home in 2003, will play that opponent on the road in 2004.


Q. How were the Divisional Alignments and Primary Scheduling Partners decided?


A. Throughout the expansion process, there have been lengthy discussions among league and school officials regarding the Divisional Alignments. These discussions were finalized at the ACC Fall Meetings in Charlottesville, Va., meetings with a desire to produce a fair division of teams.


Q. If two teams in the Divisional Model were not scheduled to play a Conference home and away series, could they schedule a non-conference game?


A. Yes. This could happen in either model. Several Big Ten schools have actually done this in recent years including Purdue and Indiana, who met last year in non-conference play to continue their rivalry.


Q. How much input did Virginia Tech and Miami have on the decisions about the Conference scheduling models.


A. Both institutions have been consulted throughout the process, and they were in attendance at the ACC Fall Meetings in Charlottesville, Va., and contributed to those discussions. (Note: Miami and Virginia Tech do not become voting partners until July 1m 2004.


Q. Will future schedules after the first two years take into account the pairings of 2004 and 2005 in order to provide balance?


A. Yes. The ACC is committed that its teams will play all of the other teams in the Conference in a regular, consistent rotation.


Q. If the ACC were to break out into a two division format, what would those divisions look like and who would be the primary scheduling partners?


A. Here are the divisions which were agreed upon for the 2004 and 2005 football seasons, with the primary scheduling partner listed. As a reminder, the ACC will be in a one division alignment, unless it has the ability to host a championship game.


FOR BASKETBALL THE FOLLOWING STRUCTURE WILL BE FOLLOWED IN 2004 AND 2005



Most Commonly Asked Questions
ACC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Scheduling



Q. How many regular-season conference games will be played for men’s basketball and why?


A. We will maintain a 16-game regular-season conference format. This allows each team the opportunity to continue to play 11 non-conference regular-season games. In conference play, it allows each team to play every institution at least once a year and a minimum of three times every two years. Finally, the 16-game conference schedule allows the ACC the ability to full fill the leagues current television contract and maintain conference rivalries.



Q. How many regular-season conference games will be played for women’s basketball and why?


A. A 14-game regular-season conference schedule has been selected to allow greater flexibility in the scheduling of non-conference opponents, not only out of region but also to include tournament events and intra-state rivalries that have become important to the growth and development of women’s basketball. In conference play, it allows each team to play each institution at least once a year and also protects conference rivalries allowing for a home/away series every year. Additionally, this schedule meets the leagues current television requirements and meets NCAA requirements to receive automatic qualification to the NCAA Tournament.



Q. What is the difference between a primary partner and a rotating partner?


A. A primary partner is a team that you are guaranteed to play twice – home and away – every year. Each school will have primary partners assigned which can be changed, after a minimum of two seasons of play.


Rotating partners are the remaining schools that you will play a combination of once or twice in any given season.



Q. Why are the primary partners different for the men and women?


A. The rivalries and traditions for men’s and women’s basketball have developed differently. It was appropriate to have different models to maintain the traditions for both men’s and women’s basketball.



Q. How were primary partners decided?


A. Throughout the expansion process, lengthy discussions between league officials ensued and a commitment was made to make every effort to protect one traditional rivalry per member institution, inclusive of new members.



Q. When will the actual schedule designating all primary and rotating partners be announced?


A. We hope to have that available after the New Year.



Q. Why wasn’t a 20-game round-robin conference schedule selected?


A. It compromises the ACC’s commitment to schedule nationally in basketball. Specifically, it would reduce the number of non-conference opponents from 11 to seven, which would severely impact an institution’s ability to schedule highly regarded non-conference out of region opponents, traditional regional opponents and could influence negatively on a schools ability to play in special events and inter-conference challenges that have become synonymous with ACC Basketball.



Q. If a team is only playing a conference opponent once, would it be permissible to play the team again, as a non-conference opponent?


A. Yes, however it is an institutional decision to schedule a conference opponent for a second regular-season game; however it would not count toward their conference record for tournament seeding.



Q. How much input did Virginia Tech and Miami have on the decisions about the conference scheduling models?


A. Both institutions have been consulted throughout the process. (Note: Miami and Virginia Tech do not become voting partners until July 1, 2004.)



Q. Why was this Basketball Tournament format selected?


A. The decision was made in the sport of basketball that every institution would participate in the conference tournament to uphold the commitment of providing a positive student-athlete experience and maintaining the tradition that the men’s and women’s tournament have developed throughout the years. This tournament format provides an equitable and efficient bracket for an 11 member conference tournament.



Q. How will the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament ticket distribution be impacted?


A. As in past expansions (Georgia Tech and Florida State), Miami and Virginia Tech will receive a pro-rated number of ACC Men’s Basketball tickets. (2005 – one-third, 2006 – two-thirds, 2007- full allotment)




Men’s Basketball Primary Partners (will play home and away with each of these teams)
Clemson Georgia Tech and Florida State
Duke North Carolina and Maryland
Florida State Miami and Clemson
Georgia Tech Clemson and Wake Forest
Miami Virginia Tech and Florida State
Maryland Duke and Virginia
North Carolina Duke and NC State
NC State North Carolina and Wake Forest
Virginia Virginia Tech and Maryland
Virginia Tech Virginia and Miami
Wake Forest NC State and Georgia Tech



Women’s Basketball Primary Partners (will play home and away with each of these teams)


Clemson – NC State, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Wake Forest
Duke – North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Miami
Florida State – Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech – Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, Wake Forest
Miami – Florida State, Virginia Tech, NC State, Duke
Maryland – Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, Georgia Tech
North Carolina – Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, NC State
NC State – Wake Forest, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina
Virginia – Maryland, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech – Miami, Maryland, Florida State, Virginia
Wake Forest – NC State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Clemson

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