ACC football to remain at eight conference games

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AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — ACC commissioner John Swofford announced Monday that the league’s athletic directors voted to stay at eight conference games, rather than switch to nine.

The group also agreed at the first day of ACC spring meetings that, starting in 2017, every conference member must play a non-conference game against a league from one of the other four “power five” conferences: the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and Pac 12.

“Our schools have discussed this at great length over the last year or two, even,” Swofford said. “In the last two or three sessions, you could see some consistency in the discussion and where it was probably leading.”

One of the driving factors behind the decision to stay at eight was Notre Dame's agreement with the league to play five ACC teams every year. In a year an ACC team plays Notre Dame, that game can count as its “power five” non-conference game.

Swofford said other independents BYU, Navy and Army are still up for discussion as to whether or not they count.

Pitt has a four-year series with Penn State scheduled for 2016-19, as well as a two-game home and home with Oklahoma State for 2016 and ’17. The Panthers are also scheduled to host Notre Dame in 2015.

Swofford also said the league will keep its current division setup, as well as the permanent crossover games between divisions. This means Pitt will continue to play crossover rival Syracuse every year, but will have six years between games against the other Coastal Division teams.

Technically, Monday's vote was only a recommendation by the athletic directors, which will be voted on by the ACC's faculty representatives Thursday. Once the measure passes, which is widely expected, it will become official.

Sam Werner: and Twitter @SWernerPG

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