3-point stance: Noncon ACC unlikely

1. Now that the ACC has decided to play eight conference games instead of nine, ACC commissioner John Swofford, speaking with me Wednesday on the ESPNU College Football Podcast, sounded skeptical of the proposal that his members might play one another in a “nonconference” game. Swofford made a good point. That option has always been available, and the schools haven’t rushed to embrace it.

2. The College Football Playoff hasn’t begun yet, but as a March Madness fan, Auburn senior defensive tackle Gabe Wright said he would like to see it expand beyond the four-team format that will begin in January. However, Wright continued, he is wary of the emotional toll the playoff will extract. “They got to figure out a way for it to be equal,” he said. “It’s hard to go from the Iron Bowl to the SEC Championship and then go into another thing. That would be hard for anybody.”

3. The NCAA penalized Oklahoma State two hours of practice time per week because the Cowboys’ grades narrowly fell short of NCAA minimum standards, and it will be interesting to watch how head coach Mike Gundy shaves down his practice sheet. Does his trim each of his four weekly practices by 30 minutes? Does he try to take it from his walk-throughs on Fridays? Does he shave time equally from offense, defense and special teams? And if the Cowboys win anyway, will they be used as an example to ease the workload of players?