ACC Conference Atlantic Coast Conference

Miami football: How ACC would look aligned geographically

The ACC is the only one of the four Power Five conferences with divisions that are not aligned geographically. Here is where the Miami football program would be if the conference realigned into North and South Divisions.

The ACC aligned the conference into Atlantic and Coastal divisions when Miami and Virginia Tech joined the conference to set up perennial conference title games in football between the Hurricanes and Florida State. Sixteen seasons in, the Miami football program has only been to one ACC Championship game.

The ACC held its first conference title game in football in 2005 after Boston College joined the conference. Florida State defeated Virginia Tech in the first title game that season. The Hokies won the Coastal five of the first seven years of its existence. Virginia Tech won three of those title games.

Miami’s only appearance in the title game came after winning the Coastal outright in 2017. The Hurricanes were defeated 38-3 by Clemson. At the time the divisions were conceived, Clemson was not the power it has become now. The Tigers did not appear in and win their first ACC Championship game until 2008.

Clemson won again in 2011, but Florida State controlled the Coastal the following three seasons including a national championship in 2013. The Tigers have dominated the ACC since with five straight titles and National Championships in 2016 and ’18. Miami is very fortunate to be in the division opposite Clemson and Florida State.

The realigned divisions would make more sense on multiple levels. It would provide fans a better opportunity to travel to road games, restore more traditional rivalries that create more interest and potentially sell more tickets in an era that college football attendance is going down. The ACC should follow the Big 10 model.

Next: New Division model

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