Or it may be pretty soon if the ACC goes to a nine-game conference schedule, a move reportedly over half its athletic directors now favor.
But more than half the conference athletic directors want nine games, according to an ACC source, which means those talks will deepen the intrigue as the College Football Playoff era begins in earnest in the fall and leagues jockey for position in the national semifinal. If the SEC feels it can eschew nine games based on its body of work on the football field and its ability to schedule good non-conference games, that conviction will be tested more than ever if it’s on an eight-game island.
The article goes on to note that while the ACC shares some scheduling difficulties with the SEC, it’s more motivated to add that ninth game as a step towards establishing its own television network, something the SEC already has.
That being said, it will be worth watching to note how Mike Slive reacts if the SEC alone has its eight-game conference slate held against it by the playoff selection committee. Were that to happen, Slive would have a couple of options at hand. He could throw in the towel and add that ninth game – something that would also garner the conference more TV money. Or he could hold firm and wait for the inevitable playoff expansion, figuring that it would be much harder to hold the conference schedule against the SEC in a field of eight… or twelve… or, well, you get it.
The other possibility here is that Swofford might be playing this as a lever to get Slive to consider more seriously the 8+1 cross-conference partnership scheduling deal that was floated a few days ago. That’s not a bad move, if you think about it.
One things for sure, money’s driving this thing. That means something’s gonna happen sooner or later. And that means Slive ignores the consequences at his risk.