Commissioner Swofford, Clemson QB Boyd Highlight Beginning of ACC Kickoff

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

In Greensboro on Sunday, the ACC began their annual ACC Kickoff media event to mark the unofficial start of the 2013 football season. With the recent additions on July 1 of Syracuse and Pitt, this year’s event would hold a different feel as the conference heads in a new direction going forward.

To kick things off, Commissioner John Swofford took to the podium to make a brief statement as well as answer some questions from the media before turning things over to the programs that he oversees.

Swofford began the festivities Sunday addressing a number of topics including the additions of the two new programs, a potential move of the ACC Championship Game and looking forward to the addition next season of Louisville, among others.

The Commissioner mentioned that the now official memberships in the ACC of Pitt and Syracuse was a culmination of talks that began all the way back in September of 2011. Aside from Boston College, these two schools are the northernmost pieces of the ACC puzzle and are crucial in the development of the conference into a national entity, as opposed to the traditional way it’s been looked upon as a primarily Tobacco Road-driven group.

As for a relocation of the conference’s championship game, Swofford mentioned that’s a subject that will be looked at throughout the season, and they may have an announcement as early as around the time of this year’s contest in December. Many have been against the idea of keeping the game in Charlotte and some have called for the game to be held at the home site of the team with the higher ranking.

Commissioner Swofford was extremely excited to talk about next year’s addition of Louisville, and with good reason. The majority of the Cardinals’ athletic programs have been on a tear through the NCAA recently. In the last seven months, they’ve secured the national championship in Men’s Basketball, made a trip to the final game in Women’s Hoops, made a significant run in the College World Series and pulled off an upset of Florida in the Sugar Bowl back in January.

Highly regarded Clemson QB Tajh Boyd was next up at the podium and, aside from what he thinks about the Tigers’ national title chances this season, there was one question on everyone’s mind, which was actually a follow-up one from last week’s SEC Media Days.

South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney made it a point last week that he knows that all quarterbacks are scared of him, and rightfully so. One of the signal callers that he specifically pinpointed was the QB from their in-state rival. And as expected, Tajh was asked about whether or not there is any truth to that.

Boyd was quick to point out the he isn’t scared of anything. While he did respectfully note Clowney’s freakish athletic talents, he made it a point to say, ‘We’ll see them in November.” Depending on how each team’s season plays out, this could end up being one of the definitive games of 2013, especially if there happens to be national title implications on the table for either squad, or both. Comments such as these only add to the excitement.

The second-half of the media session is about to kickoff (pun intended) and I will be back later with another review.


Jack is the ACC College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS


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  • yehonala04

    THe previous article about the $ec establishing national rivalries;and the LACK of them currently was further hammered home today by John Swofford of the ACC. THe ACC plays the hardest OOC schedule in cfb not the $ec,B1G,B12 or Pac12. Yet this FACT is little noted by a slavish devotion of the media to #TEAM $ec.They have determined there is no reward for placing your program at risk by playing non conference regular season road games versus credible opponents today. Going to Dallas ,Atlanta,Houston is not a road game. The 7 BCS titles the $ec have won are not critiqued about ” how ” they got there.Those from other conferences who do play a credible team and lose are instantly labeled LOSERS and derided for the remainder of the season. No one dares question why the supposed best are given a FREE PASS . LSU and Alabama,as exceptions though quite limited exposure to risk ;the $ec and B1G have played fewer road non cons other than traditional outside rivals in the past 7 years than any 7 previous years in their history. The House never loses now. And every one seems to think that its perfectly OK. Level playing field hah !