The college football world, or at least a major part of it, is in Pasadena, California this week deciding the specifics of the upcoming four-team playoff.
Representing the ACC is Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich, who offered his first thoughts on the conference’s grant of rights deal to a statewide sportstalk show.
“It’s a tremendously exciting time for the conference,” Radakovich said. “I think commissioner (John) Swofford along with the presidents in our league took a long look at what it would take for long term stability within the league through our media partner ESPN and looked throughout the country…
“In addition to the exit fee on the books, the grant of rights – each school giving their television rights to the conference – certainly came to be a cementing factor among the 15 teams in our conference that our members will stay together for the foreseeable future and hopefully longer than that.”
Next up for the ACC? Tackling the challenge of a conference television network, which the SEC is soon to announce themselves, and that the PAC-12 and Big 10 already have in place.
Radakovich says the grant of rights was “an important step in that direction,” giving a better picture of what the conference can offer.
“Over the last few months, the ACC has looked hard at their demographics with the new footprint that is associated with the league,” said Radakovich, “and put together some things that made our partner (ESPN) stand up and take notice and say – ‘Hey, this could be a very good business opportunity for not only ESPN, but the Atlantic Coast Conference and its member schools.’
“A real due diligence at the opportunities to create an ACC channel will now begin in earnest because there will be solidarity behind the league itself.”
He will sit on an athletic director advisory board, alongside commissioners, determining the future of the four-team playoff with representatives from each conference this week.
Today, the name of the new playoff (which starts in 2014) will be determined – Wednesday, the first championship playoff site will be announced and Thursday, some of the finer details of the committee and selection procedures are expected to be talked about.
Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas is the favorite to host that first national championship in the new system, with Pasadena’s Rose Bowl and New Orleans’ Sugar Bowl the first semis.
The Orange, a contract bowl for the ACC, will host a semifinal in the 2015-16 season, while the rest of the rotation for the first three years will be announced Wednesday as well. Per an ESPN report, the Chick-fil-A Bowl will no longer only be a SEC-ACC clash and instead a part of three host bowls in the new system – likely a semifinal spot in 2017.
The ACC is guaranteed a spot in one of the big-time bowls even with a team among the top-four, even if the Orange is a part of the playoff that season.