The ACC athletic directors recently held their winter meetings in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (no football coaches were there), and the group touched on a variety of topics in what was described as a non-agenda meeting. I spoke with ACC commissioner John Swofford on Tuesday for an update on what came out of those meetings.
Here were the highlights, according to Swofford:
The athletic directors voted to support the Big 12’s proposal to remove NCAA language in current legislation that stipulates a set number of teams or structure as it relates to conference football championship games.
“The Big 12 is putting forward legislation that would give the conferences more freedom to determine whether they have a conference football championship game, and how you determine if you do have such a game, how you determine who plays in it,” Swofford said. “They’re asking that the number 12 be removed. That really doesn’t affect us, but we agreed that the conferences really should have the freedom to decide whether they want to have a conference championship game, regardless of the number of teams that they have.
"It’s consistent with a lot of the deregulation that is going on with the NCAA right now with all kinds of legislation," he said. "It also stipulates you have to have divisions and you have to play everybody in your division in order to be a division champion and play in the conference championship game. It just takes a determination of such things out of the NCAA and puts it in the hands of the conferences. We voted to support that. That doesn’t mean we would change anything. That shouldn’t be taken as an indication that we would change how we do our championship game, we simply conceptually believe the conference should have the freedom to address that, rather than it being stipulated by the NCAA legislative requirements."
The conference talked about the upcoming season with Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the league, and the various league championships and scheduling that will accompany the transition. “I think we’re generally well set for that to take place,” Swofford said.
Swofford also confirmed that Louisville will play in the Atlantic Division when it begins competition in the 2014 season.
There were also discussions about the future of the BCS and the Orange Bowl. “Certainly I think there is a great deal of positive feeling about where our league is in terms of the BCS and the Orange Bowl moving forward, and we discussed future bowl affiliations,” Swofford said. “Again, very much in the preliminary stages, but excited about those possibilities in the new grouping."