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Notre Dame Football

INTEL | Notre Dame's 2020 Schedule Becoming Clear

July 23, 2020

The 2020 college football season is still very much up in the air, but the details of Notre Dame's schedule are becoming clearer by the day.

It has been long assumed and somewhat confirmed that Notre Dame would play an ACC schedule this fall as ACC commissioner John Swofford all but said it in May.

"If that was something that was best for the ACC and best for Notre Dame, we would certainly have that conversation with Notre Dame," Swofford said during a May 14 teleconference. "If both parties felt that would be a positive trying to work that out.

"I don't know all the particulars of it, but it is part of our discussions, but that's only one of the multiple paths that this could take."

We've spoken to ACC sources all week and on Thursday, one source advised of the plan the conference is leaning towards a specific scenario and it includes the Fighting Irish.

**Note: This is not official or finalized, but what we're told the ACC is strongly leaning towards.

The ACC plans to play a 10-game conference schedule with a plus-one. That means the Irish would likely be able to keep Arkansas or Navy on the schedule pending what happens in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and the SEC.

To further that scenario, Clemson University President Jim Clements stated they were working to keep the South Carolina rivalry game as the two programs have played 111 straight seasons. 

"We all are going to say yes to that one,” Clements said Wednesday during a Zoom conference call with the media. “We all want to preserve it. We all want to play it. It is important and we are going to do our best to make sure that happens.”

As it relates to the ACC, the scenario would not have the Atlantic or Coastal Divisions. The conference would go to no divisions and take the two best teams to play in the ACC Championship Game.

Under this scenario, the source stated Notre Dame would be eligible to play in the ACC Championship Game.

When it comes to who Notre Dame would play during the regular season, it's still unclear which programs would be added to the schedule, which already includes Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pitt and Wake Forest. 

If the ACC goes with this scenario, I'd expect Clemson, North Carolina and Notre Dame to play each other as they would be the clear favorites. It's worth noting Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech were also picked to finish in the top three of their respective divisions. 

In terms of a starting date, the source didn't know of a set starting date. 

It's also probably worth noting the details from the PAC-12 are also emerging. The PAC-12 is expected to play a 10-game schedule with each team playing its division opponents and five crossover games. Season openers have been reportedly scheduled for Sept. 19 with two built-in bye weeks. 

You can read more about the PAC-12 here: Revised Pac-12 football schedule features mid-September start and multiple dates for the championship game.

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