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As the start of the normal college football season draws closer, schools and conferences are still scrambling to put together a 2020 schedule.
Wednesday, the Big Ten released conference-only schedules for all 14 teams. Other leagues have made similar decisions, or at least dramatically cut back on non-conference games. Fans, however, hope this is a one-year trend.
According to results from the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, more than half of NCAA football fans don’t want schedules to focus on conference games beyond this season.
While focusing on conference games was a relatively easy fix for most teams, not every school had that option. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, notoriously independent, instead came to an agreement with the ACC for the 2020 season.
Notre Dame competes in the ACC for other sports, but has remained independent for football besides agreeing to five games against ACC opponents. This year, however, they have agreed to full participate in the ACC 10+1 schedule announced last week. Nationally, fans hope this becomes the new reality going forward. More than two-thirds of fans said they hope Notre Dame stays in the ACC permanently.
ACC fans specifically were even more in favor of the concept, 88% of fans from ACC schools voted in favor. On the other side of things, Notre Dame fans dramatically disagree. Only 14% of Notre Dame fans think the team should stay in the conference.
Notre Dame has long been talked about as a potential Big Ten expansion team, and has a number of historic rivalries with current members of the conference. But a majority of Big Ten fans are still in favor of the midwestern team staying in the ACC.
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