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Morning Playbook – No debate about it, ACC better off with 8-game schedule

The ACC will skip any plans to move to a nine-game conference schedule when Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the conference in 2013, and will stick to a schedule of eight conference games per season. This, you can thank Notre Dame for.

"The addition of Notre Dame gives us an opportunity to reinforce a number of conference rivalries in basketball and Olympic sports while also giving our schools greater flexibility in nonconference football scheduling," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "With Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame joining us, it is an exciting time in our league and our schools have made decisions that position us extremely well for the future."

As you know, Notre Dame will fill their schedule each season with five ACC opponents on a rotating basis so every ACC member will get a Notre Dame game (or more) for each recruiting class. The eight-game conference schedule also leaves more room for schools to focus more on their strength of schedule, which figures to be more influential as college football moves to a new postseason format. Not that Florida State-Florida, Clemson-South Carolina and Georgia Tech-Georgia were in much danger given the way the ACC and SEC both lay out their schedules to protect some good in-state rivalries, but this is good news for everybody if schools fill an extra game with a quality opponent.

The Pac-12 made the decision to move to a nine-game conference schedule, which actually played a key role in tossing aside previous plans with the Big Ten for annual conference vs. conference match-ups. The Big Ten continues to evaluate their options moving forward, including a potential nine-game conference schedule. Maybe the Big Ten could take their scrapped Pac 12 plans to the ACC?

Florida State vs. Ohio State? Penn State vs. Pittsburgh? Nebraska vs. Clemson? Michigan vs. Virginia Tech? (Never mind)

More links after the jump…

Pack your bags, because the Crystal Ball Run staff is sending you on a fantasy college football tour. Our staff put together our own dream road trips around college football. Which four stops would you make?

We also get you ready for West Virginia @ Texas and Georgia @ South Carolina.

ESPN's Travis Haney was kind enough to set aside some time to join the latest Crystal Ball Run Podcast.Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Geno Smith has plenty of Heisman buzz right now, but how does he stack up in the weekly Bloguin Heisman Poll?

Charlie Strong addressed being a candidate for the Arkansas job with Jim Rome Wednesday. His responses played well with Louisville fans. [Big East Coast Bias]

The Big 12 has apologized to Oklahoma State for missing a fumble by Texas on the deciding score last weekend. [News OK]

Or did they?

We all know the Big Ten is having a rough start to the season. Jesse Temple says it is difficult to predict when it will be back in the mix. [FOX Sports Wisconsin]

LSU has quaked, but not cracked. [New York Times]

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is not a fan of up-tempo offenses. [Al.com]

Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien thinks they are trendy. [Examiner.com]

The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is certainly an emotional one to say the least. [AP, via New York Times]

Which team should be No. 2 in college football? America voted…

Andy Staples says USC quarterback Matt Barkley is worried about wins, not stats. [SI.com]

Who is the top assistant coach in the country right now?  [Football Scoop]

Is Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson on a hot seat? Chadd Scott thinks so. [ChuckOliver.net]

Whatcha gonna do when (Mark) Weis-mania runs wild on you? [Black Heart Gold Pants]

SMU defensive back Ryan Smith is done for the season. [Dallas Morning News]

Georgia lost wide receiver Michael Bennett for the season. [AP, via FOX Sports]

Check out the program cover from the 1956 Texas vs. West Virginia game.

Image of the Day

Check out this archived photo, from 1968, when Pittsburgh cheerleaders had an actual Panther cub on the sideline for games. Live mascots need to be more abundant, I'm convinced.

HT: Reddit

Tweet of the Day

There were plenty of good tweets from some of your favorite college football Twitter users during the first Presidential Debate Wednesday night in Denver. Here is one of the better ones courtesy of our own Ty Hildenbrandt, perhaps better known as co-host of The Solid Verbal

Check out more top college football tweets from the Presidential Debate.

Video of the Day

You guys, this weekend's game between LSU and Florida is huge. Cue the LSU trailer…

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5yLKDRNyqiY?rel=0

Game. On.

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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