ACC Announces Expansion Conferences, Schedule Pairings

One of the primary questions regarding ACC expansion - who goes in which conference, and how is scheduling effected? - has been answered. The ACC announced at their annual winter meetings that Syracuse will be joining Maryland in the Atlantic division, while Pittsburgh will reside in the Coastal.

The league is also adding a game to the conference schedule for football and two to the basketball schedule; meanwhile, it's still unclear when Pitt and 'Cuse will officially join the conference, but John Swofford said it appears it'll be "2013 at the earliest."

The "crossover partners" - the teams in the other division that are guaranteed to be on the football schedule - haven't changed for football; Maryland will still get Virginia every season. (Pitt and Cuse are their own crossovers.) However, based on the new basketball schedule format, there is a change in the basketball format; Maryland, instead of getting UVA and Duke twice a year, will face Pitt twice a year instead. They'll still face every team in the conference at least once, but the two-a-year foes will be determined on a rotating basis.

There's likely to be a backlash to this - if Maryland has any rivals, they're surely UVA and Duke - but it's a problem born out of not being enough of rivals. With each school only getting one basketball partner instead of two, those schools ended up with their "real" rivals - Virginia Tech for UVA, UNC for Duke - and Maryland was left standing there looking glumly at Pitt, like the kid who couldn't find a partner for a class project. (Not that I have any idea what that feels like, of course.)

(Side note: couldn't we have at least gotten N.C. State? I mean is Wake Forest really a big rival for them? Surely the Gary-Yow Bowl takes precedent above all else, no?)

The good news, of course, is that Maryland and Pittsburgh should be rivals. It's tough to manufacture these sorts of things - if only Jamie Dixon had taken the Maryland job after all - but c'mon, all the ingredients are there. So long as Mark Turgeon gets things up and running by 2013, there's some potential in this.

So, yell angrily below about losing Virginia and Duke. Frankly, I don't think there's another reasonable direction the conference could've gone in, unless they wanted to add two more schools and start that whole "pods" discussion.

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