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ACC commissioner: ‘More work to be done’ before playoff expansion

Jim Phillips said the conference supports an expanded College Football Playoff, but it still might take some time.
Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner Jim Phillips speaks during ACC media days Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C.
Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner Jim Phillips speaks during ACC media days Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. [ NELL REDMOND | AP ]
Published Jul. 20|Updated Jul. 20

Commissioner Jim Phillips said the ACC is supportive of an expanded College Football Playoff but added there “is more work to be done” before that comes to fruition.

In January, Phillips preached caution when it came to playoff expansion, citing concerns about athlete welfare, the impact on academics and the length of the season.

“The ACC took what we believe was a necessary stance regarding last fall’s CFP proposal,” Phillips said. “This was based on feeling we must all come together to address before rushing into a new model.”

But Phillips’ optimism comes after what he called “great meetings” with other conference commissioners in April and June. He said he is confident that the concerns of the ACC and others will be addressed and “a new model with great access will ultimately come to pass.”

Phillips said an expansion still might take some time.

“I don’t expect us in September when we get together to line up and announce a new CFP structure,” Phillips said. “... I don’t know that there’s a separation now with those things. We’ll see, but I think the health and safety, the 365-day calendar review. I mean, we’ve talked about access, automatic qualifiers. There’s a lot of things to discuss.”

Final year of divisions

This will be the final season the ACC uses the two-division format.

Beginning in 2023, the league will go to one 14-team division and the teams with the top two winning percentages will advance to the annual conference championship game the first weekend of December in Charlotte.

That would seem to be an advantage to teams in the Atlantic Division that have had to compete for one spot with Clemson, which had won every ACC title since 2014 before being upended by Wake Forest last season.

“If you take the division votes every year, the Atlantic was for eliminating it, and the Coastal was for keeping it,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said.

By STEVE REED AP Sports Writer

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