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John Swofford talks about possible changes for ACC title game

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

John Swofford would like 'the autonomy' to make changes to the ACC title game
John Swofford would like 'the autonomy' to make changes to the ACC title game. (USATSI)

On Dec. 7 Florida State beat Duke 45-7 to win the ACC Championship. Both teams were in Charlotte because they won their respective divisions, though if ACC commissioner John Swofford gets his way, that won't be how the ACC decides its champion in the future.

Swofford told ESPN.com that he would prefer the conferences have "the autonomy" to determine its conference champion, rather than having to follow the current NCAA guidelines. Swofford's main concern seems to be scheduling now that the ACC has expanded to 14 schools, with how often teams from different divisions will meet.

If given his way Swofford says the ACC would consider having the two teams with the best record in the ACC play for the conference championship, not necessarily the division champions. Which means this season Florida State would have played Clemson instead of Duke, and last year Florida State and Clemson would have met again rather than the Seminoles facing a 6-6 Georgia Tech squad.

Which, honestly, makes sense, but here's where things start getting weird.

Swofford says the ACC could keep its divisions, though teams would not be required to play every single opponent in their division each season. Which begs the question of why the ACC would keep the divisions if they will play no role in determining the conference champion or its schedule? If the ACC is allowed to move in this direction just get rid of the divisions and treat it like basketball.

In basketball there aren't divisions, and schools will play some teams twice a season and others only once. In football, if the ACC desires, it can just be one 14-team conference in which schools play eight or nine conference opponents -- which is something else the league will decide soon enough -- and don't play the rest, with schedules rotating from season to season. You know, exactly how it was before the conference title game came into existence.

It would make more sense than keeping the divisions for no reason.

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