ACC Announces It Will Drop Divisions from Football Schedule Starting in 2023

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2022

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 04: A general view of first quarter game action on the midfield logo during the ACC Championship game between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Bank of America Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Logan Whitton/Getty Images)
Logan Whitton/Getty Images

The 2022 ACC football season will be the conference's last year with the current two-division format, the ACC announced Tuesday.

Starting in 2023, the 14 teams will compete in a single division, and the top two will meet in the ACC title game. The schedule will feature a 3-5-5 format in which each team gets three permanent rivals and five opponents that will alternate year-to-year.

"The future ACC football scheduling model provides significant enhancements for our schools and conference, with the most important being our student-athletes having the opportunity to play every school both home and away over a four-year period," ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement.

The ACC had a similar format during the 2020 season when Notre Dame temporarily joined because of COVID-19 restrictions. Clemson defeated top-seeded Notre Dame for the conference title, avenging a loss from earlier in the season.

There has been limited balance in recent seasons under the current format.

Clemson and Florida State—both in the Atlantic Division—have combined to win 10 of the last 11 ACC football titles. Pittsburgh defeated Wake Forest in the 2021 title game, becoming the first Coastal Division team to win since Virginia Tech in 2010.

The new format could provide more of an opportunity for other teams to prove themselves with an easier schedule. Though the permanent rivalries still create some imbalance, there will be a better chance to play every team over a two-year period.

It follows the strategy of other conferences like the Big 12, Pac-12 and American Athletic Conference, which have either eliminated divisions or will do so by 2023.

The Big Ten and SEC are the only other Power Five conferences that are scheduled to keep divisions through next year.

ACC Permanent Rivalries

  • Boston College: Miami, Pitt, Syracuse
  • Clemson: Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State
  • Duke: North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest
  • Florida State: Clemson, Miami, Syracuse
  • Georgia Tech: Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest
  • Louisville: Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia
  • Miami: Boston College, Florida State, Louisville
  • North Carolina: Duke, NC State, Virginia
  • NC State: Clemson, Duke, North Carolina
  • Pitt: Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
  • Syracuse: Boston College, Florida State, Pitt
  • Virginia: Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
  • Virginia Tech: Pitt, Virginia, Wake Forest
  • Wake Forest: Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech