DURHAM, N.C. - ACC athletic directors and faculty representatives are expected to leave their midweek meetings in Charlottesville, Va., with a plan for divisional alignments for the next two years.
Though a geographical split might make the most sense to control travel costs of teams and fans, don't count on it. If competitive motives rule the discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday, look for Florida State and Miami to be separated.
"It would be wiser financially, I would think," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said of a north-south divide, "but I think the best thing is try to get balance in them (the divisions)."
FSU and Miami will play each other annually regardless, and Bowden realizes that if the two are in the same division, he would only have to play his archrival once. In opposite divisions, it is possible the teams could meet a second time in a title game.
"At this point, how many years have I got left anyway?" he said with a laugh. "It really doesn't bother me."
ACC officials could be forced to revamp the alignment if or when a 12th school, such as Boston College, is added.
DEVILISH CHALLENGE: Duke coach Carl Franks already has seen the benefits of a "phenomenal" $22-million, 70,000-square foot, football facility. But the former Florida assistant insists it is only a start, not an end.
"That commitment has got to continue now that Miami and Virginia Tech are in the league," he said. "If we say, "Okay. We've done enough, we're just going to wait and see what happens,' we're heading down the wrong road; the road that Duke football went in the past and not being able to maintain any consistency in winning and that's what we're working toward. If we don't continue to look to see what are the things we can do to improve our football program, we'll always be trying to catch up with everybody else."
A FIRST: FSU sophomore guard Eric Broe made his first start in place of Bobby Meeks, who was hospitalized with pneumonia much of the week. That forced a postponement of surgery to remove his tonsils on Wednesday, which Meeks said would help a breathing problem. Meanwhile, sophomore defensive end Kamerion Wimbley made his first start.
HALFWAY HOME: The Seminoles have played four of their eight league opponents. Bowden couldn't recall when his team had played so many so early, but FSU has done it four other times (1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996).