ACC Announces Future Sport Structure After 2012 Spring Meetings

May 16, 2012

Raleigh, N.C. (AP) -- In a phone interview from Amelia Island, Fla., where the 2012 ACC Spring Meetings were held, ACC Commissioner John Swofford touched on a wide range of topics.

He said ACC schools prefer a postseason plan for football that would incorporate the bowls for at least the semifinal stage of a four-team playoff with conference champions meeting "a certain standard within the rankings."

Swofford said schools considered options for a four-team playoff model and expressed a "strong preference" for one that would incorporate the bowls for at least the two semifinals _ if not also the championship game. He said the schools also would opt for a selection process that gives preference to conference champions.

"They felt that was important as it relates to the regular season and as it relates to the meaningfulness of being a champion in order to play for the national championship," Swofford said. "So there's a preference there for incorporating conference champions into this, as best it could be done. And it may be difficult to make it four conference champions, but the feeling was, look at a hybrid that includes conference champions that meet a certain standard within the rankings. ... Maybe there's an at-large berth open. So we're interested in looking at that type of model first, as well as consideration of a 1-2-3-4 ranking model."

The ACC is set to add Pittsburgh and Syracuse at some point in the future, but it remains unclear exactly when that will happen. Pitt last week filed a lawsuit against the Big East Conference in a Pennsylvania court in an attempt to expedite its exit from that conference and join the ACC for the 2013-14 academic year.

"We're ready to receive them as soon as they can come," Swofford said. "That's between the two schools and the Big East Conference."

When that happens, the ACC will go to a nine-game conference schedule in football. Swofford said that in odd-numbered years, Atlantic Division teams will play five home games with Coastal Division teams playing five at home in even-numbered years.

"That way it's more equitable scheduling within each division, so that each division is playing the same number of home games," he said.

In basketball, Swofford said all 14 schools will play in both the men's and women's conference tournaments -- and they will grow to five-day events starting on Wednesdays and ending on Sundays. The Nos. 11-14 seeds will play that first day, he said. Both tournaments will be held in Greensboro for the next three seasons, he said.