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Will ACC football have a conference-only regular season schedule in 2020?

With increasing speculation that Power 5 schools will play conference-only football games this fall, that puts the USC-Clemson game in jeopardy.
Credit: AP
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney points upward from on top of "The Hill" before the start of an NCAA college football game against Wake Forest Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

The Big Ten conference may have set off a major domino effect across all of Division I college football with its Thursday announcement that its fall sports teams will play only conference games in 2020.

There are reports that the ACC will follow suit according to Stadium's college football writer Brett McMurphy.  If that happens, Clemson would still play Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish have an alliance with the ACC even though the South Bend school maintains its independent status in football. Its other sports compete in the ACC. This year's Notre Dame football schedule already has six ACC opponents and league commissioner John Swofford has gone on record saying the ACC would help Notre Dame fill out its football schedule if need be.

While Clemson would still make its trip up north to play the Irish, a conference-only schedule would put the annual game with arch-rival South Carolina in jeopardy. That game between the two Palmetto State rivals has been played every year since 1909.

The only officially announcement that came from the ACC on Thursday concerned its fall Olympic sports. The conference announced  which will not begin any competition before September 1 to give schools more time to implement its new safety and health initiatives in this day and age of COVID-19.

But in the coming days, conferences will be forced to announce what they plan on doing in the fall now that the Big Ten has been the first Power 5 conference to announce its plan for the coming months.