John Swofford has never cared about ACC football.
Reports came out Friday that the ACC would allow a “no strings attached” option for Notre Dame in 2020 that would provide them with a full ACC schedule and allow them to be eligible for the ACC championship game.
John Swofford announced his retirement a little over a month ago effective the end of the 2020-2021 athletic calendar. He will have served as the ACC commissioner for 24 years when he finally steps down and it cannot come soon enough.
We all know other than UNC and Duke, Swofford has never cared about the ACC in general. Everything he has done over his two decades of service has benefitted the UNC and Duke Basketball programs and not much of anything else.
The ACC, SEC and Big XII have yet to announce what their plans for this football season, but they are likely to follow the model that the Big 10 and Pac-12 have recently announced with one exception, the ACC and SEC are allegedly in talks to allow a “plus-one” model that will allow rivals to play each other outside their respective conferences so that rivalries Clemson/South Carolina, FSU/Florida and Louisville/Kentucky to play in 2020.
ACC needs to force its hand over Notre Dame.
As we know, in 2012, Notre Dame joined the conference in every sport but football. John Swofford agreed to allow the Irish to keep their independence in football and he should allow them to maintain that independence in 2020.
The Irish should be forced to play other Independent schools such as BYU, Liberty, Army, New Mexico State, UConn, and UMass – even if their football programs are FCS based.
Giving Notre Dame a pass for 2020 truly shows how little Swofford cares for the programs that give everything they have to conference and wave the conference flag every year – whether they are good or bad.
If the ACC was ever going to have the bargaining power to force Notre Dame into the conference fulltime, it is right now. The Irish know that if they are unable to play a conference schedule in 2020, they have zero chance at the College Football Playoffs in 2020 and Swofford should be using that to his advantage.
While this would not erase all the nonsensical moves, Swofford, as made over the last quarter-century, it would allow him to go out with a bang – a noise he has never made in 24 years at the helm of the ACC.