Williams believes schedule changes could elevate ACC football
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The main topic of conversation at ACC spring meetings revolved around the conference's football product and ways to improve the revenue driver.
As the SEC and Big Ten jockey for position among Power 5 conferences, the ACC was in search for answers. Many of the conversations centered around the scheduling, increasing the frequency of matchups between ACC programs and doing away with divisions.
"I think that we all agree that we have opportunities to elevate ACC football, and the scheduling is one way to do that," UVA Director of Athletics Carla Williams said in her early June press conference.
Under the current schedule format, Virginia has gone years without matchups against some Atlantic foes. When the Cavaliers travel to Syracuse this year it will be the program's first visit to the former Carrier Dome (now JMA Wireless Dome) since the Orange joined the conference in 2013.
With the ACC future schedule running through 2024, Virginia will not face head coach Tony Elliott's former school Clemson (two regular season games played in the last ten years), longtime rivals Florida State (one matchup since 2014) or Wake Forest.
The proposed 3-5-5 schedule format would scrap the Atlantic and Coastal divisions, giving teams three permanent rivals while rotating the other five games over the next two years, according to ESPN.
"I think it's always beneficial when universities within a conference play each other more," Williams said, "So there are several models that allow for that."
The opportunity to change formats also creates the need to maintain key rivalries or solidify budding ones. For Virginia it is safe to say the yearly matchups with Virginia Tech and North Carolina would be important, while leaving the door open for the third permanent opponent.
"Natural rivalries are really important. Geography is important. There are several factors," Williams said, "Everyone has an opinion, we have an opinion."
Ultimately, the decision will come down to the ACC athletic directors like Williams with a change possible as early as 2023.
"I'm not a fan of changing just to change," Williams said, "Really if it's necessary, we need to change."