ACC Football Makes Big Change for 2023 Season

The ACC football season for next year will be very different. The conference recently announced a new scheduling model that will go into effect in 2023. The new model is a 3-3-5 structure, where each team will play three primary opponents annually and face the other 10 league teams during a four-year cycle, once at home and once on the road. The ACC is also eliminating the Atlantic and Coastal divisions as all schools will compete in one division starting in 2023. The top two teams in the conference will play in the ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte on the first Saturday in December. 

"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, Ph.D 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."  

The ACC isn't the only conference to have this format. As mentioned by Bleacher Report, the Big 12, Pac-12 and American Athletic Conference have eliminated divisions or will eliminate them by 2023. The SEC and Big Ten are the only two Power Five conferences to keep divisions through next year. 

The ACC added divisions to the conference in 2005 when Boston College joined. At that time, the ACC featured 12 schools, and it was that way for eight seasons until Pittsburgh and Syracuse joined the conference in 2013. The following year, Louisville joined the ACC, taking the place of Maryland who joined the Big Ten. 

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Of the 17 seasons with the division setup, Clemson won the most ACC titles with seven. Virginia Tech won four titles during that span while Florida State won three. Wake Forest and Pittsburgh each won one, and Georgia Tech won the title in 2009, but the NCAA vacated the win due to multiple violations. Of the seven ACC Championships Clemson won since 2005, six games in the last seven seasons. The only year Clemson missed out on winning the ACC title was last year when Pittsburgh defeated Wake Forest in the ACC Championship game.