By now, everyone has heard that the Southeastern Conference has voted against playing out of conference games this season. This of course provides questions for ACC teams as to who they will play in that eleventh, non-conference game this season.
Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, and Florida State all had long-standing rivalries axed with the SEC ruling. As I see it, these particular schools do have some options.
Replace instate rivals with a team from North Carolina. With the ACC allowing 5 home and 5 away football games from ACC opponents, the four schools from North Carolina also have a void to fill, as they would have already played one another by that time. So, why not have the four teams outside North Carolina play the four teams inside? Make them non-conference games if need be.
Clemson vs NC State, Louisville vs Duke, Wake vs Florida State, and Georgia Tech vs North Carolina. So far, Clemson and Louisville only plays Wake Forrest, Florida State plays North Carolina, Duke, and NC State, and Georgia Tech plays Duke and NC State. This way, none of those teams have to say good bye to an ACC rival as well as an instate rival.
Clemson is already scheduled to play Citadel, having previously agreed to pay the Bulldogs $450K to make the trip. However, as we have already learned, nothing is set in stone regarding the coming season. Under option two, we are assuming that game does not take place, nor does the already scheduled game with Akron, which Clemson was on the hook for over $1M.
Each team plays a smaller G5 school from within state lines. Clemson plays Coastal Carolina, Georgia Tech plays Georgia Southern, Florida State plays either Central or South Florida, and Louisville plays Western Kentucky. This would continue to limit out of state exposure and give the smaller schools a chance to earn some big bucks yet again. Although schools are already taking financial hits, the television revenue cold make up for it.
Clemson plays Louisville, out of conference if need be.
Whatever happens, at least we can say we will still have football, and Clemson still has an exciting schedule. Hope everyone stays healthy and has a nice remainder of the summer.