The ACC has made its decision about college football this fall, as well as its other fall Olympic sports. The conference announced Wednesday that its football season will begin play during the week of Sept. 7, originally scheduled as Week 2 of the 2020 season. ACC teams — plus partial league member Notre Dame — will play 11 games, including 10 ACC contests and one nonconference game against an opponent that resides in the home state of league members.
“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a release. “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.”
Notre Dame will partake in the festivities and play a full 10-game ACC conference schedule, making it eligible to compete in the ACC Championship Game as a temporary 15th member of the conference in 2020. The ACC championship will be contested between the two teams at the top of the standings as the ACC will not play with divisions in 2020. The ACC Championship Game will be played on either Dec. 12 or Dec. 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
All of Notre Dame’s nonconference games will still be televised on NBC, and accrued the television revenue — from both Notre Dame and the other 14 ACC schools — will be tallied and distributed equally among the 15 schools.
The completed schedule, which the ACC says “will be released in the future,” will be at least 13 weeks long, allowing each team two open dates. These will either be used as off weeks or as possible replacement dates should there be interruptions.
For a complete team-by-team breakdown of each program’s home and away schedule,.
As far as the nonconference games each team will play, programs are in control of scheduling those contests; however, all nonconference games must be played in the ACC school’s home state. This preserves potential annual marquee rivalry games such as Florida State-Florida, Louisville-Kentucky, Georgia Tech-Georgia and Clemson-South Carolina.
Outside of football, the ACC announced plans for its fall Olympic sports. The seasons for field hockey, women’s soccer, men’s soccer and volleyball will begin on Thursday, Sept. 10. The schools will all play a conference schedule that meets the NCAA’s minimum amount of games but can schedule additional games against conference or nonconference opponents at their discretion so long as potential opponents “meet the ACC’s medical standards.” Any additional games against conference opponents that are not part of the conference-mandated schedules will not count in the ACC standings.
The ACC also announced that sports such as swimming and diving, indoor track and field and fencing are postponed until at least Sept. 10. All fall competition in sports such as golf, tennis, rowing, lacrosse, softball and baseball have been canceled. Practice in all sports will be allowed at each school’s discretion.