The ACC was supposed to be a two-team league, with every program besides Florida State and Clemson burying their heads in the sand and just plain giving up in 2012.
Things did not go as planned, as Georgia Tech beat USC to win the Sun Bowl and Virginia Tech gave a bad season a happy ending with an overtime win over Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The ACC’s 4-2 bowl game record in 2012-13 was the league’s best in terms of winning percentage since 2004.
Now, with the longtime members of the ACC heading into the offseason with a bit of momentum, the league is bolstered by two programs on the upswing. Syracuse won six of its last seven games, including beating down West Virginia to win the Pinstripe Bowl, to finish 8-5. Now, Scott Shafer will usher the program into its new conference in his first year as head coach.
Pitt, in its first year under former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Cryst, was supposed to be terrible, but instead showed huge signs of improved as the season rolled along. The Panthers’ 6-7 record includes a heartbreaking, triple-overtime loss at national runner-up Notre Dame and a bowl game loss to Ole Miss. Even bigger things are expected of Cryst and crew in Year 1 of its ACC membership.
On Friday, the TheACC.com unveiled its expanded divisional format. The ACC’s actual conference schedule is set to be made public in February. Each team will play eight conference games, four home and four away. Further, six will come against each program’s divisional foes, and two games will be played against crossover opponent. One crossover opponent will never change while the other crossover game will be schedule against rival schools on a rotating basis.
|Atlantic Division||Coastal Division|
|Boston College||Virginia Tech|
|NC State||North Carolina|