Whether it will actually happen is still up for debate, but today the Atlantic Coast Conference posted a format for playing college football this fall that includes adding the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the slate for the first time.
The league will allow all fall sports to start between September 7-12, including football, with the balance of the league schedule to be released later.
The season’s first games will take place the week of Sept. 7-12
The 2020 scheduling model includes 11 games (10 plus one: 10 conference and one non-conference)
All non-conference game opponents, selected by the respective school, must be played in the home state of the ACC institution, and all non-conference opponents must meet the medical protocol requirements as agreed upon by the ACC
The 11 games will be played over at least 13 weeks with each team having two open dates
There will be one division
Notre Dame will also play a 10-game conference schedule and be eligible to compete in the 2020 ACC Football Championship Game
All television revenue for the 2020 season, including Notre Dame’s home games broadcast by NBC, will be shared equally by all 15 institutions
The ACC Football Championship Game will be played on either December 12 or 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will feature the top two teams based upon highest conference-game winning percentage
All 15 teams will continue to be part of the ACC’s bowl selection process; should Notre Dame win the ACC Football Championship Game they would be eligible for the Orange Bowl, if not selected as a College Football Playoff semifinal team
The 2020 ACC Football week-by-week schedule and television selections will be released in the future
Notre Dame has had a scheduling arrangement with the ACC for years where they play five teams from the conference each year, and can also fill league spots in bowl games when not eligible for the College Football Playoff. Also ND will add the revenue from their television contract with NBC for home games with the rest of the league, and become an equal partner on media rights for one season.
If they can pull this off, and that’s a very, very big if, it would give student-athletes and fans some of the normalcy of college football. But with some teams in the league unable to control outbreaks already, there’s a lot of steps between this being approved and players actually putting on pads.
As nice as this would be, don’t get your futures bets down on the Atlantic or Coastal division champions yet.