ACC Football makes big changes for the 2023 season

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Next year, the ACC football season will be completely different. Recently, the conference was announced a new scheduling model that will go into effect in 2023. The new scheduling model is a 3-3-5 structure where each team will face three primary opponents annually. They also face the other 10 league clubs during a four-year cycle. The ACC will also eliminate the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions. All schools will compete for one division beginning in 2023. The ACC Football Championship Game, Charlotte will host the top two conference teams. It takes place on Saturday, December 1. 

“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,”Jim Phillips Ph.D, ACC Commissioner, stated 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 format is not unique to the ACC. As stated by Bleacher ReportDivisions have been eliminated by the Big 12, Pac-12, American Athletic Conference or will be eliminated by 2023. The divisions will be kept by the SEC, Big Ten and other Power Five conferences. 

In 2005, the ACC added divisions when Boston College joined. The ACC had 12 schools at that point, and that was the case for eight seasons, until Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined in 2013. Louisville joined the ACC the following year to replace Maryland, who had joined the Big Ten. 

Clemson was the winner of seven ACC titles out of 17 seasons that had the division structure. During that time, Virginia Tech won four titles while Florida State won three. Wake Forest and Pittsburgh won one each, while Georgia Tech won in 2009. But the NCAA declared the win null due to multiple violations. Six of the seven ACC Championships Clemson has won since 2005 were won by Clemson. This includes six games in the past seven seasons. Clemson lost out on the ACC title in 2005, when Pittsburgh beat Wake Forest.