Western Michigan removed from Notre Dame’s ACC football schedule
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, August 6, 2020
Editor’s Note: This report was updated at 12:19 p.m. Aug. 8.
The ACC announced the football slate for all 15 teams — including Notre Dame — Thursday morning on the ACC Network’s Packer and Durham. The biggest news for Notre Dame is that their one non-conference contest was slated to be against Western Michigan, breaking a series against Navy that has been played every year since 1927. However, per Brett McMurphy of Stadium, the series between the Irish and Midshipmen has been extended through 2032.
The Irish schedule has been reworked since it was initially released. The start of games has been pushed back to Sept. 12, with Duke coming to South Bend for week one after originally being scheduled for Halloween.
Western Michigan was originally intended to be Notre Dame’s sole non-conference opponent. However, the Mid-American Conference announced Aug. 8 it will be postponing all fall sports, eliminating the Broncos from the Irish schedule. A replacement has not yet been determined.
Wake Forest will still be taking on Notre Dame on the originally scheduled date of Sept. 26. The contest against the Demon Deacons is still reportedly to take place at the Carolina Panthers’ stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Irish then get a bye week Oct. 3 when they would originally play the Wisconsin Badgers. They will then take on new opponent Florida State and Louisville in back-to-back home bouts on the 10th and 17th. The matchup with the Cardinals has been moved up from Nov. 21.
Notre Dame’s game at Pitt has been pushed back a week on the calendar to Oct. 24, and the team’s trip to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech has been moved up to Oct. 31. The Nov. 7 showdown with Clemson in South Bend is still to take place on the same date.
Notre Dame will end the season with three of their four newly added opponents in the final four weeks. They will travel to Boston College on Nov. 14, followed by a bye week, then a trip to North Carolina on Nov. 27 and the season finale at home Dec. 5 against Syracuse.
The Irish now have only two ACC opponents with bye weeks before taking on the Irish, with Clemson now taking on Boston College prior to their South Bend trip.
This will be the first season since 2003 that Notre Dame does not conclude the regular season in California, as they customarily have at either Stanford or USC. They also concluded that season by facing Syracuse and lost 38-12 on the road. It will be the first since 1993 that the Irish end the regular season at home.
With the ACC eliminating divisional models, the top two teams in the league at the end of the regular season will take each other on in the conference championship, which Notre Dame is now eligible for. The Irish are also eligible for the conference’s bid in the Orange Bowl.