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ACC Schedule Changes Allow Notre Dame to Secure Championship Game Berth

The ACC announced on Tuesday that they will be evaluating the three teams in ACC championship game contention—No. 3 Clemson, Miami and No. 2 Notre Dame—based on a nine-game conference schedule.

With this move, the Tigers (8-1) and Fighting Irish (9-0) will both conclude their regular seasons this weekend, playing Virginia Tech and Syracuse respectively. 

Because Notre Dame holds all tiebreakers, the ACC determined that the program has secured a berth in the ACC Football Championship Game. 

If Clemson beats Virginia Tech on Saturday, it would secure its spot in the ACC championship game. However, if any of the three contenders cannot play this weekend, the ACC will have the option to reschedule games on Dec. 12, if needed.

The league also made schedule adjustments accordingly given this decision and changed its testing procedures. Teams are now required to have a PCR test administered on Thursdays in an effort to receive their results before traveling for games.

This comes after two consecutive Florida State games were postponed the morning of kickoff due to test results not in hand before travel.

Here are the biggest ACC scheduling changes. 

  • Notre Dame and Clemson now have an open date a week before the ACC championship game in Charlotte, NC. The Fighting Irish were previously scheduled to play Wake Forest on Dec. 12 while the Tigers already had that day free. Florida State did want to schedule their makeup game against Clemson that day after the initial matchup was postponed just hours before kickoff due to a positive COVID-19 test.  
  • Duke will play at Florida State on Dec. 12. The original game was supposed to be played in Durham, N.C., this upcoming weekend, but was postponed because of the Seminoles' coronavirus issues. 
  • Wake Forest will play at Louisville on Dec. 12, and host Florida State on Dec. 19.