Last week, reports circulated that the Atlantic Coast Conference was considering a one-year deal to allow Notre Dame to jump in line with the ACC’s projected “10 plus 1” schedule model. The model consists of 10 conference games and one non-conference/rivalry game for the 2020 season thus allowing Notre Dame to become eligible for the 2020 ACC title game in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The idea was not exactly accepted with open arms in ACC country and I spoke out against the proposal myself .

On Wednesday, the ACC released its 2020 football schedule model and it indeed includes Notre Dame as an “active” football member and will give the Irish the chance to compete for the conference championship. Questions still loom about that non-league game as it must be played in the state of the ACC school and will depend on what the other team’s league decides.

As of now, the SEC hasn’t officially announced allowing that “plus one” contest meaning the regular season finale of SEC vs ACC showdowns such as Florida/FSU, Louisville/Kentucky, and Clemson/SC still aren’t a guarantee.

I’m still not convinced we get to play football this fall to begin with. I remain hopeful somehow it works out and we can make it happen safely. But I’m not confident. Only time will tell and it appears we are moving in the direction to make it possible. But call me Missouri cause you’re going to have to show me football before I believe it.

Today, I dive into my three immediate reactions from the news release and wrap it all up with the biggest winner and biggest loser of the projected model for the 2020 season.

1. Notre Dame

Welp. They are in. I don’t love the idea because as I stated in my last post:

They want to remain independent as a football school? LET. THEM. Give them the six games, heck, give them 8-9 games if you want in 2020. Absolutely do what needs to happen to keep the marquee Clemson-Notre Dame game on the schedule for 2020. But don’t allow the Fighting Irish a one-year opportunity for a conference title they apparently don’t want in the first place.

The Hall Pass

BUT, I’m glad Swafford put his foot down and Notre Dame has to share the NBC television revenue with the other 14 members this season. You don’t get something for nothing, (or at least you shouldn’t) so glad to see the ACC is getting a little more out of the deal this time around. Who knows, maybe we even get to see the highly anticipated Clemson vs. Notre Dame showdown twice in 2020.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book is sacked by Clemson’s Austin Bryant in the 2018 Cotton Bowl Classic/College Football Playoff Semifinal. The Tigers defeated the Irish, 30-3. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

2. Bye-bye, divisions…..at least for 2020

I would bet money that after this year Notre Dame rides back off into the sunset of independence as a football member. All that aside, I’ve never been a big fan of the ACC’s divisions.

I don’t hate the system, but I do think the alignment is pretty horrible. Want to know the last time a team from the coastal won the title game? 2010…the Virginia Tech Hokies. Georgia Tech won it all over Clemson in 2009 however that win was vacated in 2011 due to NCAA violations. Clemson has of course won the last five ACC titles but since 2011, the crown has belonged to either FSU or the Tigers….both members of the Atlantic. Meanwhile…..Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Miami, Pittsburgh, Virginia have all represented the Coastal in the title game since 2013.

I’m glad to see things get opened up a bit this season and have just the two best teams (per conference game winning percentage) meet for the ACC Championship. However, I have yet to see what exactly happens in the event of a tiebreaker which is obviously a very important aspect of the whole equation. We shall see.

3. RIP to the Textile Bowl

Clemson and NC State is an old-school ACC rivalry as both are founding members of the conference. The game is known as the “Textile Bowl” because of the school’s textile manufacturing roots. The teams have met on the gridiron every year since 1971 and the rivalry dates all the way back to 1899, a 24-0 Clemson victory. The Tigers lead the overall series 59-28-1 and have won the last 8 meetings dating back to 2012’s track meet which saw Clemson out duel NC State, 62-48.

I’m somewhat disappointed that rivalry won’t continue this season however I won’t actually miss seeing Clemson play NC State. Wolkpack fans are by FAR the worst I’ve been around and I have absolutely no desire to return to a game in Raleigh for the rest of my life. For starters, I visited for a Thursday night tilt between Clemson and the Wolfpack in 2013. I pulled into a general admission tailgating/parking lot and was greeted warmly by the middle finger from group of college guys.

From there, we had random people yelling at us from across parking lots as we walked towards the stadium. As THEIR fans made their way to the exits in the final moments, our Clemson section was given another finger from what I assume was a lovely lady that perhaps just had a few too many Mike’s Hard Lemonades before kickoff.

Throughout the game, fans were excessively rude for pretty much no reason and I’ve heard others share similar stories from that night and other encounters with State fans. My word of advice for all the others that still have to play State….make sure you leave your laptops at home.

Biggest Winner :

I think the biggest winner here is still Notre Dame. They have their schedule pretty much gift wrapped, get to be an ACC member only for the year and the opportunity to play for the conference championship. Plus, the Irish will side step USC, Stanford and Wisconsin from their original regular season slate. Yes, they have to give up a little of that money from NBC but its one season….they’ll be OKAY. All in all, its a major win in my opinion and makes the path to the playoffs a bit more favorable for the Fighting Irish.

Wake Forest Head Football Coach Dave Clawson (Photo: Getty Images)

Biggest Loser:

Demon Deacons fans, I’m sorry. Wake Forest hosts Clemson, Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia and Virginia Tech. (Probably with virtually no fans in the stands….not that BB&T Field is the most intimidating place to play in the first place.) They travel to Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Syracuse. My goodness. I’m not sure I see two wins there just thinking out loud without any research of the teams for 2020. Oh and ICYMI: Jamie Newman now plays quarterback for Kirby Smart in Athens. Yikes.