No. 2 Irish earn spot in ACC title game after cancellation
No. 2 Notre Dame wrapped up a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game by virtue of the league shuffling its schedule Tuesday to create an open date for the Fighting Irish and No. 4 Clemson before their likely rematch on Dec. 19.
The ACC announced Notre Dame’s game against Wake Forest, which was rescheduled for Dec. 12 after being postponed in late September, will not be played. The first-place Irish (9-0, 8-0 ACC) host Syracuse on Saturday to complete their regular season. Notre Dame holds all possible tiebreakers over title game contenders Clemson (8-1, 7-1) and Miami (7-1, 6-1) even if it loses to Syracuse.
Clemson’s postponed game at Florida State will also not be made up. The Tigers can clinch a spot in the championship game with a victory at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Notre Dame beat Clemson at South Bend, Indiana, last month in double overtime and both are well positioned to make the College Football Playoff if they enter the ACC title game without another blemish on their records.
A Clemson victory in the rematch could send both to CFP semifinals. Normally an independent in football, Notre Dame joined the ACC this season after the pandemic forced major college football conferences to drastically alter their schedules.
No. 9 Miami could still earn a spot in the ACC championship game if Clemson were to lose. The Hurricanes play at Duke on Saturday and are scheduled to play at North Carolina on Dec. 12.
If Miami does not reach the ACC championship game, it will play Georgia Tech at home on Dec. 19.
Florida State, which has had three straight games postponed because of COVID-19 issues, is now scheduled to host Duke on Dec. 12 and play at Wake Forest on Dec. 1.
Wake Forest will play Louisville on Dec. 12 now that its game against Notre Dame was called off.
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