There have been multiple reports, rumors and speculation about Notre Dame and the ACC joining forces in 2020 as the conference and the Irish look to navigate through the COVID-19 situation.
Earlier, Irish Breakdown posted a report from Brett McMurphy about Notre Dame joining the ACC for the 2020 season. Talking to sources close to the program has provided more information.
McMurphy's report was that ACC teams would play 10 conference games and one additional non-conference game. How exactly Notre Dame would fit into conference play was a question, but we some possible clarity.
According to a source, the ACC would maintain its current conference breakdown of the Coastal and Atlantic divisions. Notre Dame would join the Coastal division and according to the source, be eligible to play in the ACC title game.
It still doesn't answer the question about the Orange Bowl, but if the ACC was going to go as far as bringing in the Irish for the 2020 season, make their games count against the standings and allow the Irish to play in the title game it would make sense to allow them to play in the Orange Bowl if they qualified.
There would likely be some negotiating regarding bowl payouts, but at this point that is more of a guess than anything coming from sourced information.
Should this happen, Notre Dame would play Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (Fla.), Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Duke and Georgia Tech. Notre Dame would then have three games against Atlantic division teams. Notre Dame already had Clemson, Louisville and Wake Forest on the 2020 schedule, so it would make sense to keep those three opponents on the docket.
The schedule would look something like this:
This is just a sample. We could see Virginia and Virginia Tech get home games against Notre Dame since the Irish hosted both last season, but Notre Dame also plays both on the road in 2021. But this gives you a taste of what the ACC schedule would look like for Notre Dame this season.
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