Could Notre Dame playing an ACC football schedule in 2020 lead the ACC to add another rival in the conference for the Miami Hurricanes?
Notre Dame currently plays at least five ACC opponents per season. The Fighting Irish were scheduled to play six ACC opponents before the 2020 season was thrown into chaos with the decisions by the Big 10 and Pac 12 to go to an all-conference schedule. The Miami Hurricanes could play Notre Dame in 2020.
The ACC is expected to announce the same by the end of the month that they could go to an all-conference schedule in 2020 or play eight or 10 conference games plus one non-conference game against a Big XII or SEC school.
Outgoing ACC Commissioner John Swofford said the ACC will work with Notre Dame to allow them to be a part of an all-conference schedule in 2020. Larger questions remain like will the games against Notre Dame count as conference games and would the Fighting Irish be eligible to compete in the ACC Championship game.
The biggest question long term is would Notre Dame ever join the conference permanently for football. If they did the ACC would likely have to add a 16th team. The scheduling and divisions would be interesting. The ACC could have eight teams per division with each playing a round robin and two cross-divisional games.
That would increase the ACC conference schedule from eight to nine games per season. If Notre Dame decides to join the ACC at some point the biggest question would be who would the conference go after for the 16th team. Five candidates seem to stick out. Connecticut, Memphis, Temple, West Virginia and Cincinnati.
The divisional alignments would likely depend on which of the five schools join the Fighting Irish in a 16 team ACC with the potential of geographical realignment. UConn and Temple would have similar rivals to Notre Dame as Northern teams. West Virginia and Cincinnati are more geographically ambiguous.