2020 ACC football schedule: New format announced, includes Notre Dame

By Kevin Kelley -

The 2020 ACC football schedule will have a different look this year due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

On Wednesday, the ACC officially announced a new format for the 2020 ACC football schedule, and it will include the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as a full member of the conference.

Each ACC team, plus Notre Dame, will play ten conference games and one non-conference game. The non-conference game must be played in the state of the ACC team, per the release. The move eliminates three non-conference games for each team, plus marquee games such as Virginia vs. Georgia and Florida State vs. West Virginia, which were both scheduled to be played in in Atlanta, Ga.

ACC teams will not begin play in Week Zero or Week One. Instead, they will kick off their seasons during the week of Sept. 7-12.

There will be no divisions and the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage will play in the ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on either December 12 or December 19. Notre Dame is eligible to play in the championship game plus play in the Orange Bowl if not selected as a College Football Playoff semifinal team.

All television revenue for the 2020 season, including Notre Dame’s home games televised by NBC, will be shared equally by all 15 league members.

The complete week-by-week scheduled as well as television designations will be released at a later date.

Opponents for each ACC team, plus Notre Dame, can be found in the graphic below.

“As we look ahead to the fall, the safety of our students, staff and overall campus community continues to be our top priority,” said Kent Syverud, Chancellor of Syracuse University and the Chair of the ACC Board of Directors. “Today’s announcement outlines a specific path for ACC fall sports to return to intercollegiate athletic competition using comprehensive protocols put forward by our ACC Medical Advisory Group. As a league, we understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information evolves in conjunction with local and state health guidelines.”

“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The Board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”

ACC Football Schedule

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Comments (19)

I hope this doesn’t lead to ND joining a conference permanently. I doubt it would. ND doesn’t need to share the money.

Share the money? You mean the $20,000,000 that ND gives to the ACC each year by joining in everything but football?

ND admits that it gives away $20 million each year by not joining. Actually, the amount that they are losing is much more than that given that the admission is one year old, and only pertained to the ACC. The net amount per year lost would be much greater if ND would join the B1G, which I happen to believe would be a mistake.

The one and only reason that ND is willing to give away $20,000,000 each year is its alumni and community relations.

Agree or disagree, but it is the school’s decision to make, and they have calculated how many dollars they are losing currently, and they have publicly stated their one and only reason.

God willing we have a vaccine we can have spring football. Camps begin in February, first games 27th. That leaves 14 Saturdays until May 29th. Each school plays 10 conference games, championship game, 1 week off and then 2 weeks for playoffs, done Memorial Day weekend. We need to be flexible and creative Athletic Directors!!

Arkansas fan here. I’m wondering if the Lou Holtz bowl with Notre Dame will happen or if ND will keep their game against Navy or Western Michigan. They can only pick one.

The Non-conference game must be in the ACC member’s state so that rules out Navy or Western Michigan, they cant play Indiana or Purdue(B10) so i dont know who they could play then??

Clint, they could still possibly play Arkansas or WMU since those games are scheduled to be in Indiana. Indiana will be an ACC state for one year.

If the SEC follows suit, they won’t be allowed to play at ND, as it’ll be a non-conference, out-of-state game.

It’ll going to be very interesting the next few weeks.

If they bump the game, looks like they might push it to 2029. That’s the next season Arkansas doesn’t have a Power 5 non-con game scheduled.

Gator Hater- no ND can not play Indiana or Purdue because they are Big10 teams and that conference games no non conference games

Clint, you don’t understand the scheduling or how this thing will work. Notre Dame will play 10 ACC games. They will play one Non-ACC game, but it must be in the state of Indiana, where ND is located, whether the game is home or away.

So, Notre can host Arkansas or Western Michigan as they were hosting them before the changes. They could also flip and play Navy at home.

Correct, they can’t play a Big10 team, but that has no effect on ND hosting a non-conference game.

Reread everything and it’ll make sense.

It’s going to be interesting to see if the ACC’s tampering with the 2020 non-conference schedule will have adverse effects on its future scheduling, particularly of SEC opponents.

While ND’s football membership in the ACC is temporary, its ability to qualify for the ACC spot in the Orange Bowl (if it doesn’t qualify for the B1G/SEC/ND spot) should be permanent, after the debacle of last year, in which Clemson was the only truly good ACC football team, yet ND didn’t qualify for the Orange Bowl despite beating, having a better record, and higher ranking than Virginia because they weren’t technically in ACC football.

Clemson’s weak schedule last year is also why OSU losing to them in the playoff was a huge sore point with me. If it weren’t for the South Carolina law that specifically states Clemson and South Carolina have to play each year (a consequence of the Southern Conference sanctioning Clemson and Maryland for violating that league’s postseason ban in the early 1950s, a ban which led those two, South Carolina, and the Tobacco Road 4 to withdraw from the SoCon and form the ACC in 1953, ultimately resulting in the dissatisfaction of the two remaining big state schools, Virginia Tech and West Virginia – both of whom left the SoCon in the 1960s – at the lack of competition in the SoCon, which is now an FCS conference), I would say Clemson have a rematch with LSU as their lone non-conference game.

One positive of the ACC schedule this year is that the Tobacco Road round robin is restored. I hope the ACC expands in a way that allows geographic football divisions which would put the Tobacco Road schools all in the South Division (but any ACC expansion MUST include Cincinnati, there are many associated with that school and Louisville that want to see the rivalry between the two rekindled; Cincinnati joining the ACC could potentially lead to the Bearcats terminating their football rivalry with the Miami RedHawks in favor of an annual series with Ohio State as part of the initiative to increase UC’s SOS).

Clemson and South Carolina have played one another on the gridiron since 1896 and have played every year consecutively since 1909. Legislatures around the South do have the occasional habit of prescribing football games to public universities within their state. The Alabama legislature, for example, mandated that Alabama and Auburn begin play in 1948 after a hiatus since 1907. Senator Huey Long of Louisiana would personally see to it that LSU played opponents of his choosing. I am thinking of how he coerced an LSU-Georgia game in 1935 by threatening to banish Coca-Cola from his state.

The whole non-conference game must be played with the ACC team’s home state was to preserve the following rivalries:

FSU vs. Florida
Georgia Tech vs. Georgia
Louisville vs. Kentucky
Clemson vs. South Carolina

That’s the only reason that stipulation is in place.