Phillips: ACC is on the right track, but a hot start will help

After a vacation filled with questions about the future of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Commissioner Jim Phillips told ESPN Wednesday that he feels “really, really good about the course” of the league.

The changing of the narrative surrounding the conference begins Thursday night, when the West Virginia House hosts a renewed Backyard Brawl rivalry. With ESPN College GameDay on site, the game kicks off this weekend where ACC will be showing nationally through 12 games over five days — including a game other than the Power 5 Conference on Sunday night between Florida and LSU.

The ACC has traditionally set tough non-conference games over the first three weeks of the season, but with the ACC going from 1-10 in the first week against non-conference Power 5 opponents since 2018, it’s starting to put together a narrative around the conference as a whole that’s hard to break .

Phillips understands what it means to score victories at these iconic national games.

“I’m proud of the way we’ve looked at scheduling,” Phillips told ESPN in a phone interview. “It creates a narrative that is hard to appreciate, especially so early in the season.” “You start – fair or unfairly – shaping what they think could be your season and the kind of team you have, so it’s important for us to get off to a good start. I hope we do.

“If we don’t, it won’t mean we don’t have a bunch of really good teams. But it sure gets you started fast and puts you in a position to create a narrative around your programs [if you win]And the success you may have throughout the year.”

Much has been made about ACC’s place in the Power 5 hierarchy, especially after the reorganization moves by the Big Ten and the SEC over the past year. The ACC is currently working on ways to boost revenue streams.

“We will consider all options that can further enhance our conference,” Phillips said several times.

The Big Ten recently signed a seven-year media rights deal worth more than $7 billion, and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren did not rule out “permanent and future growth” in an interview with HBO’s “Real Sports.”

“I still think the ACC is strong, and among the best overall conferences in the country,” Phillips told ESPN. “I’m confident we want to stay together. I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculation. We all understand that people want answers and certainty. But we’re really allied now, and we feel like we’ve got some really good solutions to address some of the revenue gap. But it can’t be that.” At the expense of all these things we do.

“I know there’s been a lot of talk about the dollars that came from this latest TV deal, and congratulations to the Big Ten. But in the end, it’s more than just dollars, and I think we’ve proven over a long period of time how successful we are in being in the class.” and competitiveness.” “I feel really, really, really good about the path we’re on.”

Multiple sources at the ACC told ESPN that they felt discussions about the uneven distribution of revenue had gained some momentum.

“Everything is on the table and is being discussed,” Phillips confirmed.

What will definitely help the league is for the national-name brands to perform early on at a high level, including Florida State (vs LSU), Pete (West Virginia and Tennessee) and Miami (vs Texas A&M in Week 3).

It’s also about getting back to the discussion about actual football games. Phillips will be in Pittsburgh for Thursday’s game, and will be busy traveling to more games over the weekend, which culminates in Clemson playing Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

“We all try to have moments where we can forget about all the issues we have, that we deal with professionally and personally and in our world, and it’s pure 3 or a half hour experience so I know everyone is looking forward to it,” Phillips said. I’m sure about that.”

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