As the ACC has expanded from nine teams to 15 (or 14, for the football fans) over the last 11 years, division realignment has become a fun topic of discussion. Whether you’re in support of just shaking up the divisions or implementing a pod system, there are a lot of cool ideas for how to give the conference a makeover.
Now, it appears that country star Brad Paisley might have his own vision.
Paisley recently released a new single, “Country Nation.” The song is about how much people love their favorite teams (or NASCAR drivers), and several college nicknames are referenced. Included were the nicknames of seven ACC schools — Seminoles, Tigers, Hurricanes, Blue Devils, Heels, Fighting Irish and Cavaliers.
We can only assume this is Paisley’s way of proposing his own idea for ACC division realignment. In that scenario, here’s what each division would look like.
Paisley Division #1
Paisley Division #2
Obviously, since Paisley is clearly in favor of Notre Dame becoming a full member, one division would have one more team than the other, so it’s worth noting that other teams mentioned included the Mountaineers, Volunteers, Tide, Longhorns, Wildcats, Wolverines, Buckeyes, Bruins, Bulldogs, Hogs and Rebels.
There’s only one conclusion: Paisley is making a subtle push for Kentucky to become a 16th member.
Think about it. The addition of Kentucky would make ACC basketball even more fun, and in football, it would give Louisville a cross-division rival that actually makes sense (Sorry, but Virginia-Louisville? Really?).
Here’s what the traditional crossovers could look like under this format:
North Carolina-NC State
Paisley clearly thought this through. All of those rivalries make sense, with the exception of Florida State-Syracuse — until you consider that Scott Shafer’s comment about the South being “soft-nosed” may have bugged the country singer so much that he’d simply prefer to see the Orange get demolished on the gridiron once a year.
Would the divisions still be uneven at the top under Paisley’s format? Sure, but maybe Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech would have an easier time winning consistently if they got to face Syracuse and Wake Forest every year.
Paisley not only gets our vote on this suggestion, but he gets bonus points for incorporating it into a song. We hear you, Brad.