Once the Fighting Irish became a partial member in the ACC, slated to play five football games against the league year, many wondered about the logistics of scheduling. Would they count as league games in the standings? How would the ACC make this work since it was slated to play a nine-game conference schedule?
On Wednesday, we found out a little bit more. The league will not play nine conference games, as was previously planned. Instead, it will keep its current eight-game format.
The change allows teams to have more flexibility in non-conference scheduling, which technically includes Notre Dame. It does not come as a surprise, and was the one option often guessed at by pundits attempting to piece together the scheduling puzzle.
One downside, however, is that with the new seven-team divisions, the math dictates that teams will only play each non-fixed opposite division division team once every six years, because games against the opposite division will be reduced to two. The nine-game schedule was originally done to allow teams to play six division games and three against the other division.