AMELIA ISLAND - Miami coach Al Golden made it clear he preferred the ACC move toward a nine-game conference football schedule.
Golden ultimately figured out he wasn’t going to win the argument and the league announced earlier this week it would keep its current eight-conference game format.
“At the end of the day, we came to a conclusion that it was best for us moving forward," Golden said Tuesday during the ACC spring meetings at Amelia Island.
Golden has said on numerous occasions that he felt a nine-game schedule would be better because it would allow schools to play as similar a conference schedule as possible. He’s not alone, but the choice to remain at eight games with every ACC team also facing off against a squad from the Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC was too much to pass up.
“When you look at Florida State, Clemson and ourselves, so many other schools in our conference that have been going out of conference scheduling good opponents, I think we didn’t want to give that up,” Golden said. “We wanted to retain that flexibility, especially against the Big 5 conferences.”
ACC officials believe adding Notre Dame, which is set to play five league opponents annually, will satisfy the need for a ninth conference game. Notre Dame’s decision to partner with the ACC is clearly paying off for both sides.
Golden said Miami is on the right track to compete at a national level, noting the Hurricanes’ willingness to beef up their schedule with a matchup against Nebraska this season as well as past games against Florida, Ohio State, Kansas State and Notre Dame.
“Again, it’s not really going to be a change for us so to speak, but it gives some symmetry in the league in terms of everybody trying to play somebody from those Big 5 and Notre Dame,” Golden added.
The new College Football Playoff selection committee, which is supposed to take a team’s strength of schedule into consideration while identifying the top four teams that will compete for a national title, has added to the pressure surrounding scheduling opponents.
Golden said the uncertainty surrounding how exactly the playoff committee will choose teams has made it difficult to figure out what each team needs to do to be successful.
“I think we’re all waiting for that moment when we get the parameters,” Golden said. “I think that’s going to help us all schedule. I don’t just mean the ACC, but college football in general.
“I think it would be important to understand exactly not so much the human element in the selection, just the metrics so to speak. What are the metrics? You hear so many different things. We’re scheduled so far out, if there’s changes that we need to make we need to address them quickly.”
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