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ACC Drops Divisional Model, Moves to 3-5-5 Format

The ACC made a major change to conference scheduling.

On Tuesday morning, the Atlantic Coast Conference made a significant decision. The conference announced that moving forward, the Atlantic and Coastal divisions would no longer exist. Following the framework of several other conferences, the ACC moved to a 3-5-5 model. This model gives every school three protected opponents and cycles through the remaining ten teams. This means that every ACC school will play every other school twice during a four-year cycle, once at home and once on the road.

For Boston College, this is a welcome change for many reasons. Firstly, their three protected opponents are ideal candidates for the Eagles. Every year, they will face the Miami Hurricanes, the Pittsburgh Panthers, and the Syracuse Orange. This brings BC back to facing several traditional Big East foes, including two they rarely played against under the previous divisional framework. 

Secondly, this gets several traditional powerhouses off of BC’s yearly schedule. They will no longer play Clemson yearly; they won't face the Tigers until 2024. They also lose their traditional matchups with two consistently good programs in North Carolina State and Wake Forest. Also gone is their protected Coastal rival in Virginia Tech. But this rivalry has recently lost some juice, so some may welcome this change. 

Thirdly, perhaps most importantly, this makes the path to an ACC Championship much easier. Instead of being bogged down by divisional standings, Boston College only needs to be one of the two best teams in the conference to make it to the ACC Championship. The Eagles will not be stuck in a bottleneck behind their divisional rivals; the path is now much more wide-open for BC to make a conference championship and perhaps even a College Football Playoff berth.

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