ACC to eliminate football divisions, play modified 8-game conference schedule starting with 2023 season

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The ACC will eliminate divisions and play a modified eight-game conference schedule with three permanent rivals beginning with the 2023 season, the league said Tuesday.

The conference becomes the second in the Power Five, joining the Pac-12, to remove divisional play following a ruling in May by the NCAA's Division I Council that leagues do not need to split into divisions or play a round-robin schedule in order to conduct a conference championship game on the final weekend of the regular season.

Starting in 2023, the ACC championship will pit the top two teams based on winning percentage in conference play.

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In addition to the three primary annual opponents, the 3-3-5 scheduling model will allow each of the 14 ACC teams to face the remaining 10 league members twice during a four-year period, with one meeting coming at home and the other on the road.

Approved by ACC athletics directors and faculty athletics representatives earlier on Tuesday, the scheduling structure will ensure that each ACC team plays every other conference member at least once during this four-year cycle.

The permanent games maintain rivalries such as Clemson and Florida State, North Carolina and North Carolina State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, and Duke and North Carolina.

The three primary games for each team are:

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney reacts in the final seconds of a 34-10 win over Notre Dame during the fourth quarter of the ACC Championship game in 2020.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney reacts in the final seconds of a 34-10 win over Notre Dame during the fourth quarter of the ACC Championship game in 2020.

Boston College: Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

Clemson: Florida State, Georgia Tech, N.C. State

Duke: North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest

Florida State: Clemson, Miami, Syracuse

Georgia Tech: Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest

Louisville: Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia

Miami: Boston College, Florida State, Louisville

North Carolina: Duke, N.C. State, Virginia

N.C. State: Clemson, Duke, North Carolina

Pittsburgh: Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia Tech

Syracuse: Boston College, Florida State, Pittsburgh

Virginia: Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech: Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wake Forest

Wake Forest: Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech

"The future ACC football scheduling model provides significant enhancements for our schools and conference, with the most important being our student-athletes having the opportunity to play every school both home and away over a four-year period," ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement.

"We appreciate the thoughtful discussions within our membership, including the head football coaches and athletic directors. In the end, it was clear this model is in the best interest of our student-athletes, programs and fans, at this time.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ACC to eliminate divisions starting with 2023 college football season