The Atlantic Coast Conference could welcome Notre Dame as a full member for the 2020 football season, ESPN reported Friday.
One of the scenarios under consideration by the conference would allow the Fighting Irish to compete for the right to play in the ACC championship game. ESPN said “various scheduling models” are being weighed, and the ACC board of directors will make the decision about how to proceed with football this fall as the nation’s battle with the coronavirus continues.
The conference champion is guaranteed a berth in one of the New Year’s Six bowl games. Despite playing as an independent, Notre Dame already is scheduled to play six ACC opponents in the upcoming season: Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Duke, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Louisville.
The board of directors is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, at which time the members will be presented with a preferred model.
Other options include moving to a schedule that includes eight or nine conference games in addition to a nonconference game, ESPN said. That format would allow the ACC to retain four rivalry games with Southeastern Conference teams, including Clemson vs. South Carolina, and could help to streamline health protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials with both the conference and Notre Dame declined to comment to ESPN.