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ACC decides on 11 game schedule with one out-of-conference

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Will the in-state rivalries be preserved?

NCAA Football: Clemson at South Carolina
“Where’s your mask, baby?”
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

As you well know, the Big Ten announced earlier in the month that they would be playing a conference-only slate of games this fall. The Pac 12 followed suit shortly thereafter, leaving three of the Power Five to decide how they would manage football during the pandemic. One of the remaining dominoes fell today as the ACC announced an 11-game “plus one” model.

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

A plus-one model was one of three to be considered by the league, and they just happened to choose the most lucrative from a TV standpoint.The language specifying that all non-conference games must be played in the home state of the ACC school would seemingly be intended to preserve the in-state rivalry games between ACC and SEC schools at their scheduled locations.

As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friends.”

As SI’s Ross Dellenger reports, the SEC is leaning toward a 10 game conference only model.

Three weeks ago, SEC athletic directors met in Birmingham in an in-person meeting that produced several potential contingency plans for a 2020 season, including conference-only schedules of 8–10 games and schedules that includes eight conference games plus one or two non-conference games. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already announced their plans for conference-only schedules, but the ACC, Big 12 and SEC were working to attempt to preserve non-conference games among their schools, specifically marquee matchups like LSU-Texas and Tennessee-Oklahoma and the four traditional year-ending rivalry games between the ACC and SEC: Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida-Florida State, Kentucky-Louisville and South Carolina-Clemson.

How those extra two games per team would be divided remains to be seen. I also have to wonder if leaking this information on the heels of the ACC decision isn’t some sort of negotiating tactic. It’s hard for me to believe that the ACC would want to play those rivalry games and the SEC would balk, but stranger things have happened and all bets are off in the year of our lord 2020.

We will report as soon as we hear from the SEC.

Stay tuned.