ACC Announces Future Schedule Formats

The Big East hasn't set any plans for the 2012-13 school year. They've invited schools for 2013 and beyond. The ACC, eager to get going with the process, has created a schedule format that will make it easy for its current members and future members in Pitt and Syracuse to transition as easily as possible.

ACC commissioner John Swofford announced some schedule formats for the conference for when Pitt and Syracuse officially join the conference.

Though nothing new is known about when the two schools will begin play in the conference, the ACC has made itself ready for whenever that's going to be with this schedule modulation. That would appear to be one step ahead of the Big East's intentions. Pitt's current home has not made any kind of announcement for its 2012-13 schedules. Instead, they've spent their time in search of new schools to join, along with a pending lawsuit set forth from West Virginia currently on the table.

"We have been engaged in discussions on the various options for integrating Pitt and Syracuse since early fall," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "It's a tremendous tribute to the leadership at our schools that we will be able to seamlessly add Pitt and Syracuse at the appropriate time when they become full playing members."

The interesting thing to note is that these schedule formats are for the 2012-13 seasons, though no official word has come about when Pitt and Syracuse will begin play. Regardless, the conference has made itself ready for whenever that will happen with these schedule modifications.

For football, the Atlantic and Coastal divisions will remain the same. Syracuse will join the Atlantic (Clemson, Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina State, Boston College, Maryland). Pitt joins the Coastal (Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Duke). That doesn't mean that Pitt and Syracuse won't play each other every year. There will be nine conference games. In addition to the six conference games that each school will play within its own division, each school gets one crossover opponent that will be on the schedule every year for a six-year cycle. Syracuse will be Pitt's crossover opponent. Those other two conference games are part of a rotating crossover that will create a home-and-home series every two years.

For men's and women's basketball, each school will get 18 conference games starting with the 2012-13 school year. Different from football, each gets what's called a ‘primary partner.' Pitt and Maryland will be primary partners, Boston College and Syracuse will be primary partners. It allows the primary partners to play each other every year for a three-year cycle. Teams will play every league opponent in basketball, playing the primary partner in a home-and-away series for at least the next three years, while the rest of the schools rotate the remaining home-and-away series in groups of four. In a three-year cycle, in the case of Pitt, you'll see six Pitt-Maryland matchups and all other conference matchups four times.

As for the Olympic sports, all teams will continue to play each conference team at least once during the regular season. The only exception is baseball. The league will also hold a conference championship for all sports except for volleyball, where the regular season champ is crowned.

With the addition of Pitt, the ACC will hold its first gymnastics championships since 1984. Only Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State and now Pitt have gymnastics programs.

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