A JERSEY GUY: ACC Could be Releasing Scheduling Dates Soon

Mark Blaudschun

According to several sources around the league, the Atlantic Coast Conference should be releasing the dates for its 10 plus one game schedule in the next few days, perhaps as early as   the middle of this week..

Here's why.

The ACC  will attempt to start the 2020 college football season five weeks from Monday.

With a Sept. 7 Labor Day night opening game already announced as part of its scheduling practice, and with all ACC schools beginning the prep part of summer camp this week, it becomes imperative for the conference to let its teams know who their opening week opponents will be.

From a football viewpoint, some coaches will and have contend that the opponents in the first two weeks of summer drills are not factors.

But the COVID-19 issue has forced schools to abandon many standard procedures. And while  there might not be a football issue involved in conditioning, the logistics of setting up travel procedures--hotels, quarantine issue and travel matters makes it imperative for visiting teams to have as much time as possible to prepare.

Five weeks would seem to be the cut off and at least one and possibly two ACC teams will be opening their season on Labor Day night.

Technically, the ACC could give the heads up to only the conference teams participating in the Labor Day night game, but that would not go well with other conference schools, which means that a league wide release should be imminent.

If the season does get started on time, a Labor Day night slot would be a ratings bonanza for either NBC if Nolre Dame hosts the game or ESPN if it is another ACC team is the host team.

There is already wide spread speculation that ACC could set up a Top 10 Clemson at Notre Dame or Notre Dame at North Carolina match up. 

Clemson was scheduled to face the Irish in South Bend in November, but the commissioners are trying to start the season and looking for impact early.

The game could remain in its early November slot, which seems unlikely, or it could move up to early October, which ND generally saves for a Pac-12 opponent or it could be slotted as the Labor Day night kick off for college football.

Moving the game up also gives the loser in that game more time to recover.

The ACC could also give ND and Navy a boost by holding the game, originally scheduled to be played in Annapolis on Sept. 5, in Prime Time, on Labor Day night.

The new ACC rule requiring each ACC team to play its one non conference game in its home state, forced a change in venue and dates for ND and Navy.

For Boston College, which must adjust to playing two additional ACC opponents, the opener seems less complicated.

Coach Jeff Hafley was scheduled to make his BC coaching debut against Syracuse on Sept 5 at BC, but that is now a road game. Ohio at BC, originally scheduled at BC for Sept. 12 looks, like the most realistic opening game for the Eagles.


Mark Blaudschun