How Will the ACC Help Notre Dame in Conference-Only Season?
After the Ivy League led the way by completely suspending its fall sports schedule across the board on Wednesday, the Big Ten announced on Thursday that all its teams would play conference-only games, and the Pac-12 followed suit on Friday. Florida State's conference, the ACC, is considering this option as well, and has announced its intention of deciding what fall will look like in late July, as its 14 members eagerly await.
Well-- 14 and a half? Notre Dame, of course, is a member of the ACC in every single sport, except football, and so far, they're the team most affected by the Big Ten and Pac-12 decisions.
Incredibly, no full ACC member institutions have a football game scheduled against an Ivy League, Big Ten, or Pac-12 team for this football season, save BC vs. Purdue. So no teams have yet had their schedule transformed. The Irish, on the other, can't say as much. Here's the slate ND will face, presently:
- September 5: Navy (Annapolis, MD)
- September 12: Arkansas (Notre Dame, IN)
- September 19: Western Michigan (Notre Dame, IN)
- September 26: Wake Forest (Charlotte, NC)
- October 3: Wisconsin (Green Bay, WI)-- CANCELED
- October 10: Stanford Cardinal (Notre Dame, IN)-- CANCELED
- October 17: Pittsburgh Panthers (Pittsburgh, PA)
- October 24: Bye
- October 31: Duke Blue Devils (Notre Dame, IN)
- November 7: Clemson Tigers (Notre Dame, IN)
- November 14: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Atlanta, GA)
- November 21: Louisville Cardinals (Notre Dame, IN)
- November 28: USC Trojans (Los Angeles, CA)-- CANCELED
So Notre Dame is down from 12 games to nine. But the ACC is willing to help out with that.
But how exactly would that work? The Irish have six ACC squads on its schedule, but full conference members play an eight-game conference schedule. Which of the eight ACC schools not currently on the ND schedule (FSU, Boston College, NC State, Syracuse, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, or Virginia Tech) would be added to the Irish slate? Would that mean those teams playing nine games-- or having one of their present games eliminated?
If a game is eliminated, it'd likely be the rotating, non-rivalry divisional crossover opponent that each school only has visit once every 12 years. For Florida State , that would mean losing a home game vs. Pitt-- and swapping the preseason No. 42 SP+ Panthers for the No. 12 Irish. Would ND be in the running to compete for the ACC crown? That seems rather unfair, since they've continually refused to join as a full member.
Attempting to help each other out right now is the right thing to do. But just how far should the ACC's full members go in accommodating the Irish?