The Southeastern Conference kicked off college football's media day season with a three-day session starting July 16, but now it is time for the media hordes to descend upon the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The ACC Media Days began Sunday with an address from commissioner John Swofford, and player press conferences kicked off by some bold words from Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.
Monday, the ACC media session in Greensboro, N.C., will continue with a morning golf outing and finally coach press conferences.
Swofford: ACC Has NCAA's Biggest Footprint
ACC commissioner John Swofford revealed that his conference has come out on top of the recent realignment wave, at least in terms of television footprint and total population.
Swofford: Just within our footprint, the ACC will have the most TV households & highest population of any conference nationally #ACCKickoff— ACC Football (@theACCfootball) July 21, 2013
He went on to talk about the potential for a 24-hour ACC Network, similar to the SEC Network set to launch in 2014, saying that the conference is still in the process of analyzing the situation.
As ESPN's Brett McMurphy opined, that likely means the ACC is going to watch how the SEC does with its network before proceeding with their own.
Swofford: "Still in process of analyzing (ACC Network) w/ESPN." In other words, see how SEC Network fares & go from there— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 21, 2013
Swofford on Pay-for-Play
SEC commissioner Mike Slive made headlines last week when he slammed the NCAA for not covering the full cost of attendance for players and not allowing the conferences to fully provide for their student-athletes.
Slive: "The NCAA has not been successful in meeting the full cost of attendance demand of our student athletes."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 16, 2013
Swofford also spoke on the issue but with much less conviction, saying that he supports covering cost of attendance, but remains against pay-for play.
John Swofford for full cost of attendance but "not for paying players." Steve Spurrier: "We should pay them $300 per game"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 21, 2013
Notre Dame's Place in ACC
Notre Dame's half-in, half-out situation in the ACC has changed how the conference will approach scheduling. As reported by ESPN's Kristi Dosh, the ACC was considering a nine-game conference slate, but the Irish rotating in and out of the team's schedules erased that idea.
Swofford said at one point it looked like they would go to 9 games, but when Notre Dame came in schools changed their mind. #ACCKickoff— Kristi Dosh (@SportsBizMiss) July 21, 2013
Swofford also assured that if the Irish decide to join a conference at anytime in the near future, they'll be contractually obligated to join the ACC.
Swofford: "If Notre Dame decides to join a conference before 2027, contractually it has to join ACC." Don't worry, they won't— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 21, 2013
ACC's Non-Conference Scheduling the Nation's Toughest
Swofford claimed that the ACC has the toughest out-of-conference slate of any other power conference, citing that the ACC plays 11 non-conference games against teams that finished in the top 25 in 2012.
Swofford: ACC teams will play 11 games vs. nonconference opponents that finished last season ranked in the nation’s Top 25 #ACCKickoff— ACC Football (@theACCfootball) July 21, 2013
Swofford: ACC teams will play 56 games vs 48 nonconf. opponents which had a combined winning% of 56% - highest of the Power 5 #ACCKickoff— ACC Football (@theACCfootball) July 21, 2013
Swofford Talks College Football Playoff, ACC title
While Swofford lacked the conviction of Slive, he did touch on a number of important topics. While speaking on the upcoming College Football Playoff, he stated that the selection committee must be set with clarity and credibility in mind.
Swofford on selection committee for playoff: it's got to have credibility and a certain level of transparency— Dinich/Adelson (@ESPN_ACC) July 21, 2013
Finally, the ACC commissioner revealed that the conference will decide the future site of the ACC championship game sometime around this year's title game.
Swofford said the ACC will decide future location of ACC title game around this year's championship— Dinich/Adelson (@ESPN_ACC) July 21, 2013
Boyd and Morris Say ACC Has Nation's Best Quarterbacks
Tajh Boyd may be one of the nation's best quarterbacks. And he also made the claim that the ACC has the best group of quarterbacks in college football.
Tajh Boyd believes the ACC is the strongest conference for quarterbacks in the country this season. #ACCKickoff— Steven Bradley (@stevenbradley3) July 21, 2013
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris has Boyd's back on the issue.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris told us he thinks the ACC's QBs are the best in the country in 2013. #ACCKickoff.— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) July 21, 2013
Johnny Manziel, A.J. McCarron and Aaron Murray would probably disagree.
Jadeveon Clowney Doesn't Scare Boyd
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney caused a stir at SEC Media Days with his remarks about Boyd, Murray and a number of other quarterbacks being afraid of him.
Boyd fired back Sunday, claiming that he isn't scared of the 6'6", 270-pound monster from his rival school.
Clemson's Tajh Boyd: "I'm not scared (of Jadeveon Clowney). We'll see those guys in November."— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 21, 2013
Keep in mind: Being interviewed is not the same as being under oath. It isn't illegal to lie.
ACC Players Take to the Driving Range
When in North Carolina, do as the North Carolinians do.
Taking a break from interviews, ACC student-athletes took to the driving range at Grandover Resort to practice up for tomorrow's golf outing.
Overheard in #ACCKickoff lobby,3 Players from 2 schools: "Might not be as big as SEC Media Days,but did they get to use the driving range?"— Knox Bardeen (@knoxbardeen) July 21, 2013
Logan Thomas Shows Respect for Alabama
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas knows he'll have his work cut out for him when he leads the Hokies against defending national champion Alabama in Week 1.
So rather than taking shots at the Crimson Tide, he talked about how talented his opponent is.
Thomas on Bama: You see what everyone else see's, you see an NFL team all over the field..they make you work for everything #ACCKickoff— Mackenzie Thirkill (@KenzieThirkill) July 21, 2013
Boyd Mentored by Michael Vick
Boyd, arguably the best QB in the ACC at the current time, has been under the guidance of an all-time great of another ACC program. Former Hokie Michael Vick advised Boyd to return to Clemson for his senior season.
Tajh Boyd said he talked to Mike Vick. "He's a really good mentor. He asked me 'Do you want to be the best?": #ACCKickoff— Gene Sapakoff (@Sapakoff) July 21, 2013
Tajh Boyd says Mike Vick told him to go back to school. Calls him a great mentor. #ACCKickoff— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) July 21, 2013
Vick played for Virginia Tech in its Big East Conference days. Both he and Boyd hail from the Hampton, Va. area.
Ice Cream Party!
As a part of media days, the ACC held an ice cream social involving the players and the media.
As Dosh pointed out, there is a stark contrast in the feeling around the ACC media days and SEC media days.
ACC players right now are in line with media members getting ice cream and socializing. Nothing like that happens at SEC Media Days.— Kristi Dosh (@SportsBizMiss) July 21, 2013
Tajh Boyd: The Most Interesting Man in the ACC
Tajh Boyd sings and the media loves it.
Tajh Boyd opened his session by serenading reporters with a country song, then owned the room for 30 min. Guy's got charisma. #ACCKickoff— David Hale (@DavidHaleESPN) July 21, 2013
Clemson crowd pic.twitter.com/fllzTmbi25— Dinich/Adelson (@ESPN_ACC) July 21, 2013
North Carolina's New Helmets
North Carolina revealed a new helmet for the 2013 season Sunday.
Updated helmet for 2013. Black NC logo with small white border. Final version will have slightly larger logo pic.twitter.com/wxwuojXKJB— Carolina Football (@TarHeelFootball) July 21, 2013
It looks basically the same as the old Tar Heels helmet with the logo and face mask colors inverted.
Dude, Where's My Slogan?
The Boston College football team has a new slogan: "Be a dude."
Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig and linebacker Steele Divitto talked about what it means to be a dude.
ACC Showcases New App
The EA Sports NCAA Football franchise is on its way out, but college football video games aren't dead yet.
The ACC is coming out with a new game app to be available on iOS and Android devices called ACC Football Challenge.
Could this be the next Candy Crush?
Conference Forgets Slots for Pitt, Cuse on Media Ballot
In perhaps the biggest ballot blunder since 2000 in Florida, the ACC included only 12 slots on the preseason media ballot, even though the addition of Pitt and Syracuse made 14 teams.
North Carolina sports talk radio host David Glenn tweeted out his 12-team ballot.
Later, the conference remedied the situation, as reported by ESPN's Brett McMurphy. For comparison, here's a shot of the new ballot from ESPN Radio's Adam Gold.
My preseason ACC ballot. Fight amongst yourselves. http://t.co/X4cHthGQ0f— Adam Gold (@AGoldFan) July 21, 2013
Quotes of the Day: Florida State's Lamarcus Joyner
Florida State safety Lamarcus Joyner brought two assertive quotes with him to ACC Media Days, the first a veiled welcome to conference newcomer Pittsburgh.
Joyner: "We've got to welcome Pitt to the ACC. ... Ya'll are new. We're going to show you why everyone talks about us the way they do."— Corey Clark/TDO.com (@Corey_Clark) July 21, 2013
Next Joyner spun a brilliant quote when looking forward to Florida State's Oct. 19 date with Clemson in Death Valley.
Joyner on playing Clemson in Death Valley: “We know it’s not going to be a walk in the park -- it’s gonna be a walk in a dark alley."— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) July 21, 2013
It's safe to say that Joyner is expecting good fight in Clemson.
Florida State's Awesome Media Guide
The Seminoles unveiled their 2013 football media guide in Greensboro and, thanks to its flashy holographic cover, it is undoubtedly one of the coolest media guides ever.
Check out more information on the media guide from Coley Harvey of the Orlando Sentinel as well as his Vine of the holographic cover:
Like Florida State? Like Vine videos? Like holograms? You're in luck ... https://t.co/GEOB8pYgIS— Coley Harvey (@os_coleyharvey) July 21, 2013
Bryn Renner and Kareem Martin Singing Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone"
Video from the ACC Digital Network:
Warning this video is NSFA: not safe for anywhere. There is no profanity, it's just awful.
These two need to stick to football.
Check back later, this article will be updated with highlights throughout Day 1 of the ACC Media Days.