Roundtable: ACC Schedule Knee-Jerk Reactions
The ACC got out ahead of other conferences Wednesday by announcing a team-by-team schedule (minus dates) of a 10-game conference season with one non-conference game expected.
Notre Dame is included in a 15-team slate that begins the week of Sept. 7, and rivalry games between the ACC and SEC were canceled by the SEC's announcement Thursday, opening up a scheduling option for Clemson's non-conference game. But the Tigers do know their ACC opponents for the fall, and there is a lot of intrigue around this revised version, so the All Clemson staff is offering their knee-jerk reactions to this week's big news.
Christopher Hall: While I remain on the side of being against allowing Notre Dame to compete for a conference title they (apparently) don't even want, it is refreshing to see the TV revenue from NBC for Notre Dame home games must be shared this season with all members of the conference. You should not be allowed to have all the benefits of a full member without any compromise.
Jason Priester: From a strength of schedule standpoint, Clemson got a little bit of an upgrade here. All of their toughest games are on the road. Going to Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Tallahassee is challenging to say the least. However, what really jumps out is Notre Dame's schedule. All but one of their toughest games are in South Bend. Their toughest road test is in Chapel Hill. They get the Tigers, Louisville and Florida State all at home. It's easy to assume we get a second Clemson and Notre Dame matchup in Charlotte. However, how often do things play out exactly the way we thought they would?
Travis Boland: The most intriguing thing about this schedule is what coaches plan to do at the beginning of the season. The margin for error is thinner for teams like North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Miami. Those schools would have been fighting it out for a Coastal championship, but now must deal with Notre Dame for an opportunity to even make it to the ACC Championship. An early loss puts one of those teams behind the eight-ball and could force coaches to rethink how they manage the remaining games on their schedules. If one of those teams starts slow and is essentially eliminated, it could mean less of a fight for teams later in the season.
Zach Lentz: I think the ACC wisely got in front of the SEC with their announcement that they will play a 10+1 schedule. By during so, the ACC made the mighty SEC look like a scared baby with their announcement that they will play only conference games — ending numerous rivalry games. For everyone who has blasted the ACC for being the little brother to the SEC, who is the little brother now. The ACC wanted to keep their games with the SEC, but the biggest, baddest league in college football chickened out.
Brad Senkiw: Maybe it's the vibe of optimism for a fall season or maybe it's because his time as ACC commissioner is running out, but it feels like John Swofford should be commended. Not only did he force the SEC's hand and make it look like the bad guys for canceling four important and historic rivalries between the two leagues, but he and the powers of the conference put together a fairly balanced schedule, which is no easy task. They aren't professional handicappers or college football analysts, but they still found a way to make sure the main contenders, Clemson, Notre Dame and North Carolina, won't have super easy paths to the ACC Championship Game in December.