University of Miami

The ACC has an option to eliminate its title game should the CFP expand, report says

In the 14-year history of the ACC Championship Game, the Miami Hurricanes have only played in it once and never won.

There’s a chance, however slim, Miami might not have a ton of time left to ever win it.

If the College Football Playoff ever expands beyond four teams — as some fans, players, coaches and schools hope it will — then the Atlantic Coast Conference could get rid of its title game, ESPN reported Sunday. The conference’s contract with Charlotte, which will bring the Championship Game to the North Carolina city through 2030, includes an out clause should the NCAA ever expand the CFP beyond four teams.

ACC commissioner John Swofford said the league’s contract with Charlotte allows the ACC to alter its postseason format in the event the playoff expands. When asked whether he would consider getting rid of the Championship Game, Swofford said it hasn’t been discussed.

“I can’t really answer that because we haven’t discussed it around our table,” Swofford said in San Jose ahead of the CFP National Championship between the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide on Monday. “Secondly, you’d have to know, if the Playoff expanded, does that mean you go back to 11 regular-season games? Does it mean we’re not going to have conference championship games? On the one hand, it’s not rocket science. On the other hand, there are significant implications to this if it were to expand.”

The ACC Championship Game has been a postseason fixture since 2005, when the Boston College Eagles joined the conference as the league’s 12th team. The Hurricanes, who joined the ACC in 2004, played in the title game for the first time in 2017, falling to Clemson before advancing to the Orange Bowl. With five wins — including four in a row — the Tigers have won the title game more than any other team. Clemson and the Virginia Tech Hokies are tied for most appearances with six apiece.

At this point, however, no major proposals have been made about expanding the Playoff. Swofford, like most Power 5 Conference commissioners, feels comfortable with the current four-team format as the Tigers prepare to play in the National Championship for the third time in four years.

“I think it’s reasonable to evaluate it, but most of the noise is from outside the room, not within the room. I don’t think we should have our heads stuck in the sand,” Swofford said. “You want to re-evaluate it and see if it’s accomplishing what you want it to accomplish, and certainly to this point I think it would appear the answer has been yes.”

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