On June 13 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s will meet in Chicago to start putting together the ”finishing” touches on a future college football playoff plan. It will be the first of three important dates to decide the future of College Football. They will be meeting again on June 20 and then on June 26 the BCS oversight committee will meet to likely finalize the playoff plans. With rumors of Clemson and Florida State flirting with the B12, the ACC certainly would have been in a weakened position. Keep in mind these were unsubstantiated rumors, but rumors nonetheless.
The public comments by members of both schools leadership that they were willing to look at options really wasn’t helping the ACC’s position.
This certainly would have put ACC Commissioner John Swofford in an awkward position at these meetings. A couple of things happened the last few days that will make Swofford a lot frisker when he shows up in Chicago.
With this quote from the Orlando Sentinel’s article that we discussed Saturday here, Florida State certainly made their strongest pro-ACC comments yet.
“If you think Florida State is moving from the ACC to the Big 12 sometime this summer, school president Eric Barron has a message for you: fat chance. While he may not have used those exact words, they more than adequately sum up his comments to reporters immediately following the university’s board of trustees meeting here Friday morning.”
Today Clemson coach Dabo Swinney left little doubt about his feelings on the situation as written in ESPN.
“We are a thousand percent committed to the ACC and committed to making this the best program and best conference we possibly can,” Swinney told reporters Tuesday before the start of the Dabo Swinney Football Camp. “It has really been very frustrating (from a recruiting standpoint). I think there has been a lot of irresponsible blogging, reporting or whatever you want to call it (about changing conferences). It has been a real distraction.”
The recent comments coming out of Clemson and Florida State put John Swofford in a position where he can work for the football interests of the ACC. There are those that will always say Clemson and Florida State have one foot out the door barring a $500 Million exit fee.
What I see here is a statement here by Clemson and Florida State that we are ready to give John Swofford the keys to prove that ACC’s football voice will be heard.
My personal feeling is still any four team playoff format will result in the ACC having a shot with an elite 12 or 13 win team, but it seems the athletics interests of the ACC lie in the conference champion format according to comments from the ACC Meetings last month.
It seems a little too coincidental to me that these statements come out right before rather than after the playoff meetings. Frankly they didn’t have to be made at all by either school. With FSU and Clemson throwing their strongest support yet behind the ACC, a 14 team ACC that extends across the eastern seaboard is a very viable conference and will now certainly have some leverage at the playoffs meetings.