The 2020 college football season is going to be weird, but than again so is everything in 2020.
No Big Ten or PAC-12 this fall is one thing, but Notre Dame playing in a conference is another.
In 2020 only, Notre Dame is playing exclusively an ACC schedule and they will be considered an honorary member, who has a chance to play in the ACC Championship Game in 2020.
But don’t get used to this. Irish won’t be in ACC beyond this season nor should they be.
I’m sick of the “Notre Dame should join a conference” conversation. Why should they? College football is a business and Notre Dame is a very successful business. They have their own TV deal (NBC), they certainly bring in plenty of revenue, and they can build the schedule as they see fit.
From an entertainment standpoint, Notre Dame annually plays one of the toughest schedules in the country. If you want, they can play an ACC schedule exclusively, but guess what? They’ll dominate the ACC because lately, it’s been bad.
Notre Dame would play 8 (mostly inferior) ACC teams. When the Irish went 12-0 in 2012 and 2018, they beat 10 power 5 schools, en route to the Championship Game/Playoffs.
Who wants to see Notre Dame vs Duke, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, when you can instead get Notre Dame vs USC, Stanford, Texas, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin.
The other argument for them to join a conference is that they only play 12 games without a conference championship game, which gives them an unfair advantage for the playoffs. Well, Alabama in 2018 and Ohio State in 2017 both made the playoffs with 1-loss and no conference championship victory. Notre Dame had 0 losses and no conference championship victory. What’s the issue, other than jealousy and hatred?
Notre Dame should never join a conference. They should never apologize for their independence, because they are winning in the game of college football. They play the most must-see games and rake in the money. Why change that?