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ACC could allow 'nonconference' league games

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 14 2014 11:19:05 AM CDT
Updated On: May 14 2014 01:41:46 PM CDT
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Commissioner John Swofford announced Monday that the Atlantic Coast Conference was sticking to an eight-game league schedule. But that could come with a significant caveat.

Athletic directors in the conference are contemplating a ninth game each season against ACC teams that would be labeled nonference games. Playing league opponents in a nonconference game is permitted by ACC bylaws, Swofford said. Each institution is allowed to make its own decision on the ninth game. The extra game would be added starting with the 2017 season.

"The most difficult thing in this league is how often our young people can play teams from the other division. And if you're not playing for 8-10 years, that's a little tough," Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said. "But it's a darn strong 15-team league. That's one of the things you get with it."

The ACC's athletic directors voted not to change the amount of conference games it plays, but its teams must play at least one nonconference game against an opponent from a Power 5 conference starting in 2017.

The ACC already has a scheduling agreement in which five conference teams will play Notre Dame each year. That game is included in the nonconference Power 5 commitment.

"Everything's on the table," Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross told ESPN from the ACC meetings in Florida.

Swofford said ACC teams can continue to schedule FCS opponents but it has not been decided if independents BYU and Army qualify as a non-conference Power 5 commitment.

"I think all the coaches felt like playing each other more, if there was a model for that, we'd be open to it," NC State coach Dave Doeren told ESPN. "They are going to allow us to use that plus-one game in the conference as a nonconference game so that will be interesting to see where it goes. When we don't have to play Notre Dame, playing Duke or Virginia or somebody from the Coastal that we don't play will be a discussion we want to have."

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