FanPost

What the new divisions will look like with the inclusion of Louisville

It looks Louisville will slide into the spot vacated by Maryland.:

Swofford also confirmed that Louisville will play in the Atlantic Division when it begins competition in the 2014 season.

http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/52343/acc-winter-meetings-rewind

So the new divisions going forward will look as follows.:

Atlantic Division

Boston College Eagles
Clemson Tigers
Florida St. Seminoles
Louisville Cardinals
N.C. State Wolfpack
Syracuse Orange
Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Coastal Division

Duke Blue Devils
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Miami Hurricanes
North Carolina Tar Heels
Pittsburgh Panthers
Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia Tech Hokies

What this news means for FSU fans: The dominate Atlantic division just got stronger, the Coastal is as weak as ever, and thus the ACC divisions are even more unbalanced then they were before. Also the far flung Atlantic just got even more far flung by replacing Maryland with Louisville, while the Coastal remains as compact as possible. (Maybe I am overlooking the value of potential frequent flier miles though.) Is anyone surprised that this move seems on all levels to nicely benefit the NC and VA schools while at the same time screwing FSU and Clemson yet again? But just how wide is the gap in competition between the Atlantic and Coastal now? Looking at last year's FEI rankings(which aren't the end all be all of measuring team strength but still very useful for comparison) yields the following comparison:

Atlantic

FSU- 5

Clemson- 22

Louisville- 28

Syracuse- 37

NC State- 63

BC- 88

Wake- 107

Coastal

VT- 43

UNC- 46

GT- 49

Pitt- 51

UM- 65

Duke- 81

UVA- 83

Now there are a couple of different ways to look at the decision to replace Maryland with Louisville. The most obvious would be that Maryland(ranked 86th FEI overall) was replaced with a much stronger Louisville(28th overall), which would appear nefarious considering the Atlantic was still the tougher division before this latest move. Its even more unseemly when you consider that Louisville would be the strongest team in the division if they went into the Coastal. A much more equitable decision(and something that was rumored to have been considered) would have involved transferring one of the weaker teams from the Coastal(probably GT) and put Louisville in the Coastal division. The divisions would have still been unbalanced but at least it would have avoided the situation where you have the 4 strongest teams in the Atlantic and the likelihood that whoever finishes over .500 in conference play in the Coastal wins the division title. Then again maybe that was the plan all along?

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