Could the Future of the Miami-FSU Rivalry Be in Question?
You know when you have a long running weekly poker game and you decide to add a new guy, but then he comes in and starts proposing a bunch of radical rule changes to how you play the game? Yeah, well Syracuse University is being that jerk.
Despite being in the ACC for less than a season, Syracuse's Athletic Director has suggested massive changes to the way the league schedules football games. The plan could threaten the annual meeting between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles, and the ACC has agreed to listen.
Syracuse is in its first season as a member of the ACC after defecting form the Big East, but according to The Associated Press athletic director Daryl Gross is a bit miffed the team is stuck in the Atlantic Division. The read-between-the-lines take away is that he's upset that his team doesn't get to play in Miami enough because the Hurricanes sit in the Coastal division. Miami, of course, is a prime recruiting area.
The Syracuse AD contends that certain programs are at a disadvantage when the schedule keeps them from regularly playing in major markets such as Boston, Atlanta and Miami.
The current ACC schedules sees one team play a "permanent rival" from the other division every single year. Miami and FSU, teams that have played each other almost every single year 1951, sit in different division but are "playing partners" so they still get to play each other every single year. Gross and Syracuse's suggestion could put that rivalry in question.
"There are some playing-partner scheduling that simply don't need to be maintained," he wrote in his email to ACC officials. "In fact I believe it would be in the best interest to prioritize playing multiple members of the conference over having a playing partner.
"I do understand creating rivalry inventory; however, it may be better to be more creative with the rivalry concept annually than to force them over the long term."
"That would likely eliminate some of the yearly rivalry games like Florida State-Miami," writes The AP.
It's no secret that the ACC's currently football set-up was designed around FSU and Miami. The player partner system allows FSU and Miami to play during the regular season every single year while still allowing for the possibility that the two teams could play each other again in the ACC Championship Game.
The ACC has agreed to discuss Syracuse's plan at their meeting next January. Though, given that even in off years the 'Canes-Noles matchup is one of the most heralded games on the ACC schedule we doubt that the conference would try to do away with it on an annual basis.