ACC Expansion: With Nine Conference Games, Will Georgia Tech Drop BCS Opponents?

Let's make one thing clear: the football rivalry between Georgia and Georgia Tech isn't going anywhere. "Good, Old Fashioned Hate" is absolutely secure. But according to comments made by Georgia Tech associate athletic director Wayne Hogan to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the advent of nine conference games a year in the ACC could restrict the Yellow Jackets from playing another high-profile team in the regular season:

The nine-game schedule will reduce nonconference games to three, including Tech’s annual game with Georgia. Hogan said it’s likely the other two games would typically be against an FCS opponent and an FBS team from a non-BCS automatic-qualifier conference.

In essence, the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC could prevent the Yellow Jackets from playing high-profile teams like Alabama. According their official web site, Tech will play the following non-ACC, non-Georgia BCS members in future seasons (since Pitt and Syracuse aren't scheduled to join until possibly 2014, that's where we'll pick up the scheduling:

  • 2014: BYU (not a BCS member yet, but a likely Big 12 expansion target)
  • 2015: Syracuse (a new ACC member, so a moot point)
  • 2016: Vanderbilt
  • 2017: Ole Miss, BYU
  • 2018: Ole Miss
  • 2019: Alabama
  • 2020: Alabama

According non-official schedule sites like NationalChamps.net, the Wreck also has an agreement to play South Carolina. Considering Tech will play nine conference games a season and Georgia annually, is it worth it to play another high caliber opponent?

One thing's for sure - Hogan's comments would exclude Tech from considering events like the Atlanta-based Chick-Fil-A Kickoff every September, a lucrative payday for participating schools. And while there's a litany of arguments for and against scheduling easier non-conference opponents, one thing's for certain - the Southern football fan suffers when you trade Tech versus Bama, South Carolina or Ole Miss for a "rivalry" with Syracuse.

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