Inside the ACC’s rejection of College Football Playoff expansion amid concerns about larger issues

When ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said last week that his coaches were unanimously against College Football Playoff expansion “at this time”, he may have been understating the conference’s position.

ACC sources portrayed for CBS Sports the depth of the league’s concerns about tripling the field from four to 12 teams — at least within the current 12-year contract that expires after the 2025 season. Because of that consternation, CFP expansion is likely dead for at least the next four years.

ACC coaches and officials believe college athletics — football in particular — must work its way through numerous other complications as it tries to reform and deregulate before it sets its sights on expanding the postseason.

Amid COVID-19 issues and roster limitations, the ACC last fall asked the NCAA Football Oversight Committee for relief on the rule that preserves eligibility for any player who participates in less than five games during the regular season. In the postseason, ACC coaches said they were were told to apply for a waiver on individual cases for players whose eligibility would be impacted.

None of those waivers were granted, according to Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson, current chairman of the league’s head football coaches.

Clawson said some ACC schools are “not sure they are going to be able to practice in the spring” because of rosters diminished by the combination of COVID-19, injuries, graduation, opt outs and transfer portal departures.

The average ACC program has lost 10.4 players to the portal since the beginning of last the 2020 season, according to 247Sports’ tracker. It is not known how that compares to other leagues.

ACC coaches are concerned that level of churn is unsustainable with the annual limits of 25 signees…


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