The ACC made it official on Wednesday. They are planning to move ahead with a season and are going to play an 11-game schedule that includes 10-conference games and one out of conference game. The ball is now in the SEC’s court.
I am a big fan of scrapping the divisions. I would love to see this be a permanent thing. And yes, I want to see Notre Dame in the ACC permanently as well. Hopefully this is the first step.
At first glance there are a couple of things that stand out to me. First, Clemson’s schedule should no longer be mocked for being one of the weakest in the country. The home slate is pretty weak outside of Miami, but the road games are not. Trips to South Bend, Blacksburg, and Tallahassee won’t be easy. Not having full stadiums makes it less challenging, but still challenging nonetheless. Miami, Pitt, and Virginia Tech are all solid defensively.
Another thing that jumped out to me was that Florida State has some tough sledding in front of them. Home games against Clemson, Pitt, and North Carolina. Road games against Louisville, Miami, and Notre Dame. Might be a long first year in Tally for new head coach Mike Norvell.
Finally, the Notre Dame schedule. All but one of their toughest games are played in South Bend. Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville all come to them. Their only big road test comes against North Carolina.
I was interested to see how the ACC was going to make this COVID-19 schedule work and I have to say that I like what they came up with. For the most part. Everyone knew it wasn’t going to be a normal schedule but they handled it the best that they could have given the circumstances.
I really like the one division model with the top two teams playing each other in the Championship game. I would love to see the ACC look at keeping that model. It would at least make some more of the regular season games a little more interesting.
As far as the Tigers schedule goes I was really shocked with the fact that Clemson and NC State won’t match up against each other on the gridiron for the first time since 1970. The Tigers and the Fighting Doerens will both have to make the ACC championship game for there to be any chance to hear NC State head coach Dave Doeren complain about Dabo Swinney and Clemson somehow “cheating” to win. The rivalry game known to most as the textile bowl has had its share of drama over the last few seasons. From Doeren complaining about laptops used on the Clemson sidelines to one of NC State‘s star defensive players stealing/taking Kelly Bryant’s towel during a game.
Another part of the schedule that stuck was the same thing that most fans are talking about. Notre Dame being given the opportunity to play as a full fledged member of the ACC for the 2020 season. I am really hoping that there is more to the story and this will turn out to be another huge step towards getting the Irish to become a full member permanently in the near future. Not only could it help Clemson down the road but you would also have the storylines from years past. Just think what it would be like to have the Irish and Hurricanes playing again and it be a conference game.