ACC Commissioner John Swofford

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NCAA Basketball Tournament - North Carolina State v Kansas

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The Drive Wednesday 10-17-12- ACC commissioner John Swofford joined Taylor and Marc to talk about Notre Dame joining the Conference, if any more teams will be making the jump to the ACC, and if Madison Square Garden will ever host the ACC Championship.

It was ACC Media Day here in Charlotte and John Swofford stopped by to talk ACC Basketball and he started by commenting on how strong of a league the ACC should be this season.

“Looking at this year, with out current make up of teams, is seeing more depth than we’ve had in the last few years.  And depth has a lot to do with the tradition and success of the ACC over the years.”

When asked about how the conference will be affected when Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame join, he believes it will only benefit everyone involved.

“It’s going to be brutally competitive, quite frankly, and that’s a good thing.  It’s a good thing for recruiting.  It’s a good things for the schools.  It’s a good thing for our fans.”

With the addition of these three school to the conference, that would leave the opportunity for another school to be invited to create 16-team conference, but Swofford was hesitant to subscribe to that theory.

“We’re not looking to add…  And in actuality, because of the nature of the relationship with Notre Dame and the fact that they will not be in the league in football, but they wil be playing five of our teams every year…  It doesn’t affect the balance of our football divisons, and if we brought in a 16th tem that did play football, it would throw our balance out of whack.  So it’s really illogical for us to add a 16th team at this point in time.”

Moving from the basketball court to the football field, the ACC’s reputation has struggled to gain respect as a legitimate football conference.  Swofford addressed these concerns.

“We’re halfway through the season and we have several teams that could finish the season extremely well, but you do have to win some high profile games and you do have to have some programs that are consistent enough to stay in the national picture for the duration of the season to get the kind of respect that you want to have.  That’s just a fact of life.”

The new four-team playoff system to determine the BCS National Champion will allow more teams to be involved in the conversation and this should bring hope to fans of ACC Football.

“This is a year where I’m excited about looking ahead.  I’ve been for having a four-team playoff for a number of years, and I wish we had it this year… So it’s exciting about the future.  You’ll have two more teams that will have an opportunity to play for the National Championship, and I think that wil be good for all of us actually.”

After sixteen years on the job, it’s still apparent John Swofford loves his job and he’s excited about the future.  This year should be particularly exciting and ACC fans have a lot to look forward to as Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame join the conference over the next year.

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