South Carolina football: ACC announces plan for upcoming season

A general view of the ACC Championship logo. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
A general view of the ACC Championship logo. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

The ACC made an announcement today regarding their plans for the upcoming season. What impact might it have on the South Carolina football team?

On Wednesday, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced its plan moving forward for the 2020 college football season. There are steps put in place regarding both scheduling and safety. Below are the guidelines to the upcoming year.

"The season’s first games will take place the week of Sept. 7-12The 2020 scheduling model includes 11 games (10 plus one: 10 conference and one non-conference)All non-conference game opponents, selected by the respective school, must be played in the home state of the ACC institution, and all non-conference opponents must meet the medical protocol requirements as agreed upon by the ACCThe 11 games will be played over at least 13 weeks with each team having two open datesThere will be one divisionNotre Dame will also play a 10-game conference schedule and be eligible to compete in the 2020 ACC Football Championship GameAll television revenue for the 2020 season, including Notre Dame’s home games broadcast by NBC, will be shared equally by all 15 institutionsThe ACC Football Championship Game will be played on either December 12 or 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will feature the top two teams based upon highest conference-game winning percentageAll 15 teams will continue to be part of the ACC’s bowl selection process; should Notre Dame win the ACC Football Championship Game they would be eligible for the Orange Bowl, if not selected as a College Football Playoff semifinal teamThe 2020 ACC Football week-by-week schedule and television selections will be released in the future"

What does this mean for the Gamecocks?

The first thing of note is the plan for an 11-game season, with one of those contests being against an out-of-conference foe. That’s most likely to include a South Carolina versus Clemson matchup. It’s still yet to be seen if the SEC will move to a 10-game conference schedule, or if they’ll stick with the typical 8-game slate and fill the open weeks with out-of-conference matchups.

Secondly, every team will receive two bye weeks, which could help with flexibility throughout the season should things need to be moved around due to COVID.

And finally, the league plans to play its conference championship game in December, with participants being decided based on highest winning percentage rather than matching the two divisional champions. Should the SEC move to this format and eliminate Eastern and Western divisions, we could see something like a Florida-Georgia or Alabama-LSU championship game for the first time in league history.

It’s also interesting to see Notre Dame being accepted as an ACC affiliate, with an opportunity to play in the ACC championship as well as being eligible for the bowl tie-ins (Orange Bowl), though this will have no impact on South Carolina.

We’ll have to wait for the SEC’s decision, but the league has been in constant communication with both the ACC and Big XII. All things considered, this seems like a step in the right direction for folks who want to see football being played this fall.