Earlier in the day, newly hired Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said he was in favor of expanding the College Football Playoff and that an announcement on such could come as early as June.
Kliavkoff’s statement surprised a lot of people. Considering he was officially hired on Thursday, maybe Kliavkoff spoke prematurely, especially when a veteran of 115 days, such as the ACC’s Jim Phillips, says they need “a thorough assessment before making any major decisions” regarding CFP expansion.
Phillips is the ACC’s new commissioner, as he hosted his first formal session with the media who cover the league on Thursday. Phillips spoke to 14 members of the press, including The Clemson Insider after the ACC wrapped up its annual spring meetings.
When looking at the data from the CFP’s seven years existence, one point that has been brought up over and over again is access. Power 5 conferences want more access to the playoff. Group of 5 schools want access and so on and so on.
“I think we all understand it,” Phillips said. “The leagues take pride in the conference schedules and the competition within those conference schedules. Then in the end, they feel like if they have a champion, that champion should have a chance to potentially go forward.”
Phillips is not against the idea of expansion. He just wants to make sure the CFP is expanding for the right reasons and in the best interest of college football.
“I want to have the conversation and I really want to do it really thoughtfully,” he said. “I don’t want to rush into, ‘Yes, we have to expand.’ I want to know more about it. I think others deserve to know more about it before we make a sizable decision.
“But what does that look like? How many games is that? Is that just one more game for two teams? What does that do from a student-athlete perspective? How does it affect our calendar academically? How does it affect our calendar with the regular season? Are we playing too many games if you count non-conference, conference and then into the CFP and/or bowl system?”
The ACC’s new commissioner thinks the bowl system is worth saving and he does not want to see college football turn a blind eye to it.
“It is not just four, six or eight (teams) or whatever the playoff would look like,” Phillips said. “We have a responsibility to the greater good of college football. And those bowl experiences are really important to the campuses across the NCAA that play FBS football. So, I think you have to evaluate the consequences good and bad.
“I think we will get to the right place, but to me that is not going to happen in the next few months or the next six months. I think that is going to take some time. We need to do a thorough assessment before making any major decisions.”
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