- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Let's discuss this hot topic for next week: Thumbs up or thumbs down on the new logo?
Now, let's get to some questions.
Jose Solivan in Orlando, Fla., writes: My question is about the four-team playoff for college football. I see that there isn't a max on how many teams from one conference are allowed in the playoff. I feel that if you don't win your conference, you should not be considered for the playoffs. It makes not winning your conference not as important, especially if you are in the SEC. They should pick four conference champions. The only reason I feel why they won't do that is because of Notre Dame. So PLEASE answer why they won't choose four different champions from four different conferences?
Andrea Adelson: Jose, take a deep breath. The fact is, we have no idea who is going to be in the first College Football Playoff. It could very well be four conference champions -- Florida State, Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State, let's just say as an example. While winning a conference championship is not required to be one of the four teams selected, it will be emphasized during deliberations. How much that is weighed will be up to the selection committee. We have seen teams that didn't win their conference make it into the BCS title game, much to the consternation of some (cough, cough SEC). But unlike the BCS standings, 13 people will be able to potentially move a conference champion into the playoff over one with the same record and no championship. I have got to believe being a conference champion will mean something to the committee. Still, it would be tough to make it a requirement. Let's just take UCF as a most recent example. Say the Knights were a top-10 team, but there were only three conference champions ranked ahead. Would you be OK with the Knights being placed into a four-team playoff because they were a conference champion, ahead of a one-loss Florida State team that lost in the ACC title game? Essentially, this is not really about Notre Dame, but really about protecting the power-five conferences. They could produce two worthy playoff contenders but only one conference champion.
Matt in Atlanta, writes: Has any thought been given to getting rid of the divisions all together for ACC football? You could keep two rival games that you play every year, and then have six floating games each season. This would, in concept, allow each player to have a home-and-away game against every school in the ACC in a four-year college career. It seems more logical, and the top two teams at the end of the season would be playing for the ACC championship. Instead of what we've had the past several years. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.
Adelson: There has been some talk but little traction on the subject. A few athletic directors are in favor of scrapping divisions, but most believe in them for a few reasons. One, they give teams something to play for and keep more teams in contention for the ACC championship game longer. Second, most like seeing division champs in the ACC title game. Third, many teams have built up divisional rivalries that they want to keep on the schedule. I like the idea of scrapping divisions if you can keep two rivalries protected and then round-robin everybody else. Scrapping divisions is the only way to create opportunities to play all league teams in an eight-game schedule model. ADs are not ready to go there yet, so the ACC is left with an imperfect system. For now.
Creswell in Augusta, Ga., writes: I've heard rumblings that the ACC may scrap divisions in the future. If this were to happen to make certain matchups occur more frequently, what rivalries do you think would be protected? (For argument's sake, let's say each team can "lock" two opponents each year.)
Adelson: This is going to be fun! Readers, let me know what you think about my choices, and weigh in with your own. Toughest decision was choosing between the Duke-North Carolina-NC State-Wake Forest rivalries. Somehow, Duke-NC State still gets left out in the cold. A few of these aren't exactly rivalries, but with only two allowed per team, there are some odd-looking protected games. And yes, I did lean Big East-heavy for some of these.
Boston College: Syracuse, Pittsburgh
Clemson: Florida State, Georgia Tech
Duke: Wake Forest, North Carolina
Florida State: Miami, Clemson
Georgia Tech: Clemson, Louisville
Louisville: Georgia Tech, Virginia
Miami: Florida State, Virginia Tech
North Carolina: Duke, NC State
NC State: North Carolina, Wake Forest
Pittsburgh: Syracuse, Boston College
Syracuse: Boston College, Pittsburgh
Virginia: Virginia Tech, Louisville
Virginia Tech: Miami, Virginia
Wake Forest: Duke, NC State
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