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How Will the ACC Handle the 2020 College Football Season?

With the Big Ten’s announcement for a conference-only schedule in 2020, other football conferences have been pushed to come to decisions regarding the start of the 2020 college football season.

Following the Big Ten’s announcement, the Pac-12 also announced that it would be moving to a conference-only schedule for 2020. With the current favorite to win this year’s National Championship – Clemson – coming from the ACC, a lot of questions arise in how a conference-only schedule would affect playoffs.

Although college football leagues such as the Ivy League have cancelled their season for 2020, it seems like this won’t be the case for the ACC. With contending teams such as Clemson coming from the ACC, a lot of money would be lost if the season got cancelled all together.

Now that Joe Burrow has moved onto the Bengals in the NFL, Trevor Lawrence will have one less obstacle in LSU being dominant. Additionally, with Etiene returning for one more season, it seems like Clemson is bound to have another playoff run. 

Despite the ACC’s inevitable return, there is still concern with the new format of the season. Although it is expected that Notre Dame will be included in the ACC’s conference-only schedule if it is put in place, there is still some uncertainty with what the matchups will be and how the games will be organized.

One method that ACC athletic directors have brought up for the 2020 schedule is dividing the League into 3 “pods” of 5. In this schedule, ACC teams within a pod would be regionalized and play the other teams within their pod twice. Each team would also play two games outside of their pod, totaling for 10 games.

Although there is a chance that College Football Playoffs get delayed, there should be limited impact from having conference-only schedules. Because of the selection process for determining playoff teams in college football, there should not be much of an issue doing the same this year. Even if another conference decides to cancel its season, College Football Playoffs would still be able to continue. 

While it seems like things are heading in the right direction for the ACC’s planning of the 2020 season, ACC Commissioner John Swofford has stated that they likely won’t come to a final decision until later this month.

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