As it currently stands, Louisville's role in the ACC football schedule is simply that of a "replacement Maryland," which means for the foreseeable future the only team from the Coastal division we're guaranteed to play every year is Virginia. That means after Miami visits Papa John's this year, it will be more than a decade before they return. That's ridiculous.
Once of the proposed "solutions" is that Louisville and Georgia Tech swap divisions, so that we get Miami and Virginia Tech every year but now Florida State and Clemson get rare. That has the advantage of being less bad, I suppose, given our history with the Hokies and the Canes, but no one would call it good.
ACC Commissioner John Swofford would like the NCAA to remove the requirement that only division winners can play in conference football championship games. Now, the coaches reportedly want to maintain divisions even if both division winners don't go to the conference title game (it's easier to game plan around rarely-changing schedules), but the opening paragraph of this post explains why that's awful. Fans would hate it and, regardless of what coaches want, TV networks would like a little more variety in their inventory. (They'd also like the most competitive conference title games possible, which is why Swofford will likely get his way - ESPN gets what ESPN wants.)
So, if the ACC were to scrap divisions, the prevailing wisdom is that a so-called "3-5" format, where every ACC team would have three permanent rivals and the remaining five teams on the eight-game slate would rotate, would be adopted. Under this system, Louisville would play the same three teams every year, and the 10 other teams in a "two years on, two years off" cycle (play five teams home and away in consecutive years, then play the five other teams home and away in consecutive years). Under this scheme, every ACC team would visit Papa John's once every four years, and we'd never go more than three years without playing any individual team. That's more like it.
So, should the 3-5 Scheme come to pass, who should be Louisville's three permanent rivals? Which three ACC teams do you want to play in football every year? Personally, I'd choose Miami, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.
I'd break down the conference like this:
|Team||Rival 1||Rival 2||Rival 3|
|Clemson||Florida State||Georgia Tech||Syracuse|
|Duke||North Carolina||NC State||Wake Forest|
|Florida State||Clemson||Georgia Tech||Miami|
|Georgia Tech||Florida State||Clemson||Virginia Tech|
|Miami||Louisville||Boston College||Florida State|
|NC State||Wake Forest||Duke||North Carolina|
|North Carolina||Duke||Wake Forest||NC State|
|Virginia||Virginia Tech||Boston College||Georgia Tech|
|Wake Forest||NC State||North Carolina||Duke|
What say you, Card Nation?