Just minutes ago, the Big Ten officially announced it would be moving to a conference-only schedule for all sports – including football – this fall. That means that a number of college football games, including Wisconsin’s October tilt against Notre Dame, are now officially cancelled.
Furthermore, it’s starting to look like the Pac-12 is going to follow suit. Notre Dame is set to play Stanford and USC this season, per usual.
Notre Dame is in a tough position, given the fact that it isn’t officially part of a conference for football. The Fighting Irish have long cherished their independent status, which, until we were in a pandemic, was an advantage. Not anymore.
So how does this likely play out for Notre Dame this fall? The program’s relationship with the ACC is going to be tested. Notre Dame currently has six games scheduled against teams from the conference – Wake Forest, Pitt, Duke, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Louisville. If they’re cancelled, well, Notre Dame won’t have a season.
That said, it’s possible that the ACC goes from eight to nine conference games to match the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12. If that happens, they could probably find a way to salvage Notre Dame’s season.
According to Richmond.com’s David Teel, ACC commissioner John Swofford has addressed this idea, saying the Fighting Irish will be “in the mix.”
#ACC commissioner John Swofford has said that if league adopts an all-conference football schedule for 2020, Notre Dame likely will be in mix. Irish already have six ACC opponents on docket.
— David Teel (@ByDavidTeel) July 9, 2020
ACC football also expected to play conference-only games, sources told @Stadium. Last month, ACC commish John Swofford told @Stadium if Power 5 schools played conference-only schedules that ACC would assist Notre Dame with as many games as it needed
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 9, 2020
Notre Dame’s other three games are against Navy, Arkansas and Western Michigan. We’ll see if any of those games hold up.
At this point, it’s fair to start to wonder if college football season will be played at all this fall. It’s possible it’s moved to the spring – and it’s also possible it gets cancelled altogether. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.