Those with Golden Domes find a new home: Notre Dame to the ACC

  • ACC
  • College Football
  • College Football Playoff
  • COVID-19
  • Notre Dame
By Kyle Henning July 30, 2020 0 Comment

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the plan for the 2020 NCAA College Football Season. Notre Dame will participate and have a chance at the Title.

The University of Notre Dame Football program and its lack of conference has long been a topic of consternation. The school has maintained its independence in the sport and as long as their profile remains the same, they simply generate too much money on their own. They have a massive television deal with NBC.  Nothing is going to change that, well almost nothing

Sometimes Things Change

The sports landscape has been altered in ways never dreamed of previously. College athletics is in jeopardy. In order to play, drastic change was inevitable.Coronavirus is something that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Universities across the country began making decisions about their athletics departments. The Pac-12 and Big Ten announced they would move to a conference only schedule. Notre Dame felt the effects of both of those decisions. They lost USC, Wisconsin, and Stanford from its schedule. Suddenly being affiliated with a conference became heavily important and many speculated Notre Dame could be left out.

The Atlantic Coast Conference Makes Modifications

The ACC, Big 12, and SEC were presented a scheduling situation after the decisions by the Big Ten and Pac-12. The ACC announced they would enact an eleven game schedule for the 2020-21 season.

The full announcement from the conference encompasses all “Fall Olympic Sports” and a brief mention of winter and spring athletics, but the focal point is football. The season will be 13 weeks in length with 2 open dates. This is presumably to provide the league flexibility in case of a Miami Marlins-esque COVID-19 outbreak. Some of the other adjustments include a single division, the non-conference opponent must be from the same state and they must meet ACC medical protocols.

Must Read More Than the Headlines

It’s hard to find Notre Dame in the full announcement from the ACC. One would have to scroll to the seventh and eighth bullet points to see it. Notre Dame will play a 10 game ACC schedule, so they will be eligible for the ACC title game. If Notre Dame were to win and not be selected to the College Football Playoff, they’d be Orange Bowl bound. All of this is great for Notre Dame; however there is a catch. Notre Dame’s will also share its lucrative NBC television contract with the 14 other institutions.

Small Price to Pay in the Grand Scheme

Both Notre Dame and the ACC benefit from the agreement implied by the announcement made by the ACC. The University of Notre Dame has a home as well as a set of opponents for the 2020 NCAA football season. The ACC also added a guaranteed opponent for five additional games to replace the ones lost to the Pac-12 and Big Ten’s decisions. They also add additional short-term revenue to supplement likely losing revenue from fan attendance at games. The key takeaway is that Notre Dame isn’t sacrificing its long term independence. This agreement is solely for the 2020-21 season. Only having to sacrifice 2020’s television contract in order to ensure a chance at a season and potential playoff revenue is ideal for the University.  The ACC presented a scheduling model today, a full schedule announcement will also come soon.

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