ACC commissioner John Swofford has said in the past that eight teams would be ideal for a playoff, but after watching the way Year 1 worked, he is in no rush to change much -- if anything at all.
Before heading to Dallas to participate in the College Football Playoff management committee meetings this week, Swofford said the first year went "extraordinarily well. I’m not sure there’s a lot there to tweak."
That includes the number of teams in it. Because of the controversy that followed the selections this year, many have wondered whether an expansion to eight is coming sooner rather than later. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and committee member Condoleezza Rice both said earlier this month they are not favor of expanding beyond four.
Swofford is in that camp, at least for the life of the current CFP contract.
"I think four is where we should be at this point," Swofford said. "When you have exams earlier and the desire not to take college football any deeper into the second semester, the concerns about student-athlete welfare and player safety and the number of games, I think we’re right where we should be at this point in terms of the number of teams in it. I made some comments earlier that from a pure football standpoint in a vacuum maybe you’d want eight and have all five of the power conference champions and then three at-large selections, but I don’t think that’s reality in college athletics. So I think we’re right where we should be and I think that’s where we will be for the duration of this 12-year contractual agreement."
The only change committee chairman Jeff Long is expected to recommend is when the first ranking is released, and that is only because the season begins a week later. The rankings release is something Swofford is interested in discussing. There has been much debate about how many times the committee should put out rankings, because justifying them each week backed the committee into a few corners -- especially in the way they ranked Florida State and TCU.
Though many Florida State fans (and a few trustees) were incredulous with the committee for the way they ranked the undefeated Seminoles, Swofford has maintained that was not reflective of the ACC as a whole. Getting a team into the College Football Playoff in the first year will always be a lasting accomplishment, even if the outcome did not lead to a championship.
"I suspect there may be some tweaks to the number of times the standings are released and when we start releasing those standings," Swofford said. "I’m interested in that because that’s worth discussing as to whether we got that right, but other than that as a 'start-up' I can’t imagine coming out of the blocks much better than the College Football Playoff did the first year."