(Musings and observations from the site of the CFB national championship)
TAMPA--John Swofford, the commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, was an interested observer on Sunday as Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and Alabama coach Nick Saban held their final media event before Monday night's national championship game.
Swofford was low key as usual when talking about another ACC opportunity to win a national championship.
Since a similar informal meeting with the media at last season's national championship game in Arizona between Clemson and Alabama, Swofford has watched the ACC achievement's continue to climb. ACC teams were part of the men's national championship basketball game (North Carolina), and when Florida State beat Michigan in this season's Orange bowl it elevated ACC bowl teams to an 8-3 record, by far the best of any conference. ACC teams have now won 5 Orange Bowls in succession and 11 ACC teams had winning records this season
""I don't say that to brag,'' said Swofford, 'but it's just a matter of respect that our league has achieved.''
Now all they need to do to close the deal is finish the season with a win--and a national championship.
TMG Sports had the pleasure of sitting down with CFB Executive Director Bill Hancock on Saturday in our newly minted podcast AUDIO CLIPS. As usual, Hancock, who we have known for years, was interesting and entertaining.
One of the key issues he talked about was the sentiment in many circles to expand the playoff format to 8 teams. With 9 years remaining in a 12 year contract, there isn't likely to be an overhaul any time soon, although there could be tweaks to the system. But according to Hancock, moving to 8 teams is not feasible as any limit placed on guaranteed spots for conference champions will not work.
"If you do that,'' said Hancock in the podcast, ""the commissioners say you have to have 10 guaranteed spots for each of the conferences and that won't work.''
The reason for that was because of the fear of anti-trust suits which could and probably would be filed by conferences outside of the Power 5 conferences.
Hancock also--not unexpectedly--defended the selection's committee of the four schools chosen for the Final Four playoffs--Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington. '"For the third year in a row, the committee got it right. For that and more check out thepodcast at TMGcollegesports.com,