2015 ACC Football - A Closer Look
Eight years ago, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) began divisional play in football, splitting the Conference into two Divisions (not geographically) – Coastal Division and Atlantic Division. The Coastal Division includes: Virginia Tech Hokies, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Miami Hurricanes, Virginia Cavaliers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Pittsburgh Panthers, and Duke Blue Devils. The Coastal Division boasts: Boston College Eagles, Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Maryland Terrapins, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Syracuse Orange, and Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
The ACC football schedule is set up so that each member of the ACC Conference plays five divisional games, one cross-divisional permanent rivalry game (similar to SEC football), two additional cross-divisional games (one home, one away), and four out-of-conference games. The ACC football regular season division leaders faceoff at the end of the season to determine the ACC Champion and final ACC standings. Last year, the Florida State Seminoles football team won the ACC Football Championship and ranked No. 10 in the country. The Seminoles are favorites again to win the ACC Conference this year. The last time an ACC football team won a national title in football – Florida State in 1999.
By adding Pittsburgh to the Coastal Division and Syracuse to the Atlantic Division in football (Notre Dame football will play five games against ACC opponents but will remain independent), the Atlantic Coast Conference is now a 14-team league when it comes to the most popular sport in the United States. In 2014, Maryland will leave the ACC and be replaced by Louisville. Also beginning in 2014, the ACC will send a team to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium for (at least) six years. Notre Dame will have access to the Orange Bowl and the ACC's non-BCS bowl tie-ins even though the Fighting Irish are not joining the ACC in football.