David Teel over at the Daily Press reported that Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver has recently proposed a plan that would pit the ACC against the SEC in a yearly battle of epic proportions. Weaver's plan:
With three intrastate ACC-SEC rivalries — Florida State-Florida, Clemson-South Carolina, and Georgia Tech-Georgia — permanent schedule fixtures, Weaver’s idea is for the remaining 11 schools in each conference to rotate home-and-home series. A complete cycle would take 22 years, an eternity in this era of hourly realignment.
A grand plan. The two 14-team leagues cycling through one another in an effort to get the good games so many college football fans crave; not to mention the sellouts that most athletic directors yearn for. While the rumored Pac-12 and Big Ten partnership has fallen through, the Hokies' athletic director is not turned off from the possibility, even with nine-game conference schedules looming on the horizon.
On the surface, it would make scheduling easier. Obviously the existing games would remain intact, for those schools, a nine-game conference schedule means finding just two games a season to flesh out the schedule. Should the rest of the teams in each league elect to go for the partnership, they too would be staring at just two games to fill the void. Ten quality games that sell and just two games to play FCS, non-BCS opponents or schedule another big time game.
Should the ACC explore a partnership with the SEC?
The one tweak that must happen to Weaver's plan? Instead of rotating through the entire roster of schools, the games must take one of two paths; annual contests against the same team or a format similar to the ACC-Big Ten challenge in basketball, matching up teams based upon quality.
By playing teams annually, the schools would get a chance to grow a rivalry. A game that fans will look forward to on a year-to-year basis. With Clemson, Georgia Tech and Florida State out of the picture due to their current engagements, it would be on the rest of the league to take on Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and the rest of the conference.
It would be great for college football as whole and more importantly, from Jim Weaver's perspective, great for the ACC. It is a lot easier to sell out a game against a quality opponent and with an agreement like this, the league wouldn't have to scramble to find games.
The ACC folks should definitely push the interest in this agenda. Their biggest hurdle will be getting the all powerful SEC on board.