Amelia Island, Florida – As an early and persistent advocate of reshaping the football schedule at the center of American football, Virginia Tech’s athletic director Witt Babcock left the conference’s annual spring meetings optimistic.
“We’re close,” Babcock said moments after adjourning Thursday’s final session. “We’ve talked about scheduling a lot over the past three years, but that’s the biggest momentum I’ve seen. Love it. I want hockey to play NC State, Florida State and everyone on the other side. [more often].
“I hope we can put an end to it this summer. We didn’t vote. There will be some nuances between the three permanent opponents. I feel like we are there, close to third base so to speak.”
The new format will dissolve the ACC’s Coastal and Atlantic divisions and allocate three annual competitors to each team. Your remaining ten competitors on the table rotate in groups of five every other season.
Under the divisional model, Virginia Tech faces the Atlantic, NC State, Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse and Wake Forest programs once every six seasons, once every 12 seasons at Lane Stadium. If, as expected, the majority of sporting directors agree to the new structure, the teams will play all of their ACC rivals at least every other season, at least once every four years at home.
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The change will be a long-awaited win for athletes, fans, and ESPN.
New Hokies coach Brent Brie said he supports any schedule that boosts ACC’s chances of landing multiple teams in the 12-team College Football Playoff, which everyone has been expecting starting in 2026.
Figure 3-5-5 should do just that, improving the teams’ schedule rankings and assuring that the two best teams battle it out in the Conference Championship match.
Babcock said: “I don’t know it’s a revenue factor, but it gives more notable games…and with the 12-team playoffs, I hope there are strategies to get two teams out there. Obviously, the argument around the splits is that it’s still good to win. [your] side, but I think most people, even if they like it, understand the need [for change]. “
Babcock and Brie similarly align with football governance and advocate that the Bowl subdivision be played outside the NCAA only, possibly by College Football Playoff, an idea publicly put forward by Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith.
Bray said: “We are definitely different than any other sport… and I don’t know how you can control all these sports including football. It just doesn’t work – it doesn’t work. So there is something that will give us flexibility to do what we need to Doing it – does not prevent others – but gives us flexibility.”
Babcock said that managing college football separately “certainly makes a lot of sense”. “Basketball, over 350 schools, seem to have kept that up. I hope that happens.”
The NCAA’s Transformation Committee, which includes ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, is crafting such a framework, which, if adopted, would give college athletes a much better chance of managing issues such as athlete compensation and runaway transfer rates.
“We can’t fix these issues until we fix the governance issue,” Bray said. “We can’t fix it until we have a different system that allows it. [coaches] To have a stronger voice. … the argument falls on deaf ears. Nobody is listening. …
“With the players being successful, the opportunity for other teams to come in and buy players from your roster is a real opportunity. So you have to have some safeguards within your organization and then hopefully some help from the league.”
One Hokies basketball note from the Spring Meetings: Coach Mike Young recently had a three-hour dinner with Justin Motts in Las Vegas, where the Mots are training and considering whether to return to Virginia Tech or still qualify for the NBA draft.
The deadline for players to withdraw from consideration of the draft is June 1, and Young said he is resisting tough sell-offs. In this year’s ACC Scholar Athletic Program in men’s basketball, he earned a second Masters last season while averaging 10.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, the latter two being the best team.
“We respect him,” Young said. “He was great as a citizen, he’s a great student, and I love coaching him. But this is his chance, and I’m not cheating on him. … He was just an old coach and a player he admired just because they were together and he got it all.”
Hokies long-established guards Hunter Cattoor, Sean Pedulla and Darius Maddox returned from last season’s ACC Championship squad and signed ocean scorers MJ Collins and Rodney Rice. Mix that group up with a forward area of the Mutts and go to John Camden (Memphis), Grant Basile (Wright State), and Mylyjael Poteat (Rice) and you have a roster that Young thinks could be the strength of the ACC once again.
Young said, “Believe me, I’ll get a place for [Mutts] If he chooses to return to Virginia Tech.”