The ACC (which the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a football arrangement with for the next decade-plus) begin their winter meetings today, and ESPN’s Andrea Adelson published a nice primer piece.
Let’s get this out of the way — right away. Somehow Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi kept Notre Dame out of his mouth. A miracle — right? Maybe, but I’ll get to that in just a moment.
The most interesting part of the article for Notre Dame fans is this little excerpt:
Especially since, as one source indicated, the coaches were against a 12-team expansion from the start.
The issues with the 12-team format began well before January. During ACC Kickoff in July, coaches heard a presentation from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick about the 12-team model that he, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson developed.
But multiple coaches said they were not given much in the way of detail or information about how it would affect the regular season, number of games played, academic schedules, the holidays or bowls outside the playoff.
“Jack tried to swindle us into going for it. That thing got squashed back at ACC media day,” one source said.
Basically... new ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips has given a bigger voice to the coaches in the conference, and they were very uneasy with moving forward with a 12 team expansion of the college football playoff. They have bigger issues to take care of according to Narduzzi:
“It’s not about the individual,” Narduzzi said. “It’s about college football, and that’s what the ACC coaches and our commissioner have really just grouped together and said, ‘Listen, let’s fix some of the crap we have.’ There’s so many issues, and if we just go to 12 teams, they’re not going to fix any issues. They keep screwing up all the issues. So fix the issues we have, and then we’ll talk.”
So what are the issues?
For as many details as they say Jack left out of his “swindle” presentation, they defended their position with just as many details. For a conference that hasn’t had another team come close to dethroning Clemson as a playoff contender, the general thinking would be that they should want an expansion. Perhaps their issues are totally legit and give them great cause to be the roadblock, and I think most people could respect that position — so spell it out.
While Phillips has given the coaches a bigger voice as opposed to this being just a president and athletic director conversation, it’s more of what we have come to expect from them... complain about things not being right and then point a finger at Notre Dame.
The Irish have already proven that they can make the CFB Playoff under the current format, while the ACC hasn’t put in a non-Clemson school since the 2014 season.
Have fun with that.