July 22 marked the beginning of the ACC Football Kickoff, taking place in Greensboro, North Carolina. The event is an opportunity for the ACC to give an outlook on the 2012 college football season.
ACC commissioner John Swofford addressed the media and gave the following information about football in the ACC, as summarized by SB Nation.
- Swofford backs the new playoff system and is pleased with the ACC's affiliation with the Discover Orange Bowl. The ACC champion will play in the Orange Bowl every year, unless the champion is chosen as one of the four playoff teams, in which case another ACC team will be selected.
- Swofford has no concerns about Florida State and Clemson potentially leaving the ACC for a better football conference.
- The ACC has no plans to expand from 14 teams to 16 teams after adding Syracuse and Pitt. The ACC will not help pay the buyout fees for Syracuse and Pitt to leave the Big East.
- A nine-game conference schedule is going to be the norm moving forward unless the athletic directors vote to revisit the issue.
Senior wide receiver Connor Vernon sat down with the ACC Digital Network at the Kickoff. Here's a summary of some of his comments. You can watch the entire interview with Vernon here: http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-football/2012/7/22/3176659/video-duke-receiver-connor-vernon-on-setting-records/in/2940006.
- Vernon said he tries not to think about the school and ACC records he could break, but rather about the team's record at the end of the season.
- Vernon says he has a great relationship with senior quarterback Sean Renfree. The two are roommates this year. This off-season they became even closer and Vernon thinks this is as strong as their relationship has ever been. Vernon says the two know what each other are thinking and that their timing is on a whole new level.
- The team's expectation is to play in Charlotte at the end of the year, the site of the ACC championship game.
- Blair Holiday's tragic injury has brought the team closer together. Vernon says Holiday was like a brother to the entire team and that he stays in the team's thoughts and prayers.
Vernon also gave the following quote about sophomore receiver Blair Holiday's accident, from CBS Sports.
"It's been a tough situation...I looked out for Blair coming in as a freshman, I took him under my wing a little bit and tried to get him to where he is now. It's an unfortunate accident, but accidents happen. In the long run, it's brought us us - as a wide receiving unit and as a team - together."
Red shirt senior defensive end Kenny Aninuke spent time with the media and shared some of his thoughts on Duke football, courtesy of digtriad.com.
- Aninuke said that around Durham people are starting to talk about Duke football in a more positive light.
- Duke is becoming more of a football school rather than just a basketball school, but in order for the change to continue, the team needs to keep winning games.
- Aninuke chose Duke over other schools that recruited him to help change the program, and to build the program from the ground up.
Duke has also announced that senior running back Desmond Scott will transition to wide receiver this season. Last year, Scott managed 367 yards in nine games, four starts, scoring two touchdowns. He also hauled in 25 catches for 135 yards.