→ Notre Dame, the ACC, and Scheduling

Some more of the details related to the scheduling:

The arrangement will obviously be unusual. Notre Dame will play close to a full ACC schedule – the full members of the conference play eight league games – but not be part of the league. Notre Dame could go 5-0 in games against regularly scheduled ACC foes but wouldn’t claim the conference championship, at least officially.

Dan Wetzel explains why this is important to Notre Dame:

As other conferences grew in size – the SEC expanded to 14 teams, the Pac-12 and Big 10 went to 12 – so too did the threat that the Irish couldn’t just pick and choose opponents, especially in October and November, as they always have. The other conferences might go to nine league games (as the Pac 12 already does), eliminating one slot for a tough non-conference opponent. Earlier this year, the Big Ten and Pac-12 set up a scheduling agreement that concerned Notre Dame – although it later fell apart when the Pac-12 pulled out.

Notre Dame currently must schedule all of its 12 games per year. This drops to seven games with the ACC scheduling the other five. ACC teams will likely be featured during the more challenging dates later in the season. It’s a far easier task.

Even though I would have preferred an arrangement where Clemson got to play Notre Dame every year, knowing the Irish will be on the Clemson schedule in the very near future is pretty exciting.