On Friday afternoon, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced its first three-year football rotation (2014-16) with Notre Dame when the Fighting Irish begin their affiliation with the ACC as a partial football member in 2014.
Everett Golson and Notre Dame will now have Boston College as an ACC rival.
There were three primary objectives:
• Notre Dame is required to play five ACC members each year, rotating with three at home and two on the road one year, and then two at home and three on the road the next.
• Each of the 14 league members will be played by Notre Dame during the first three-year rotation.
• During the second three-year rotation from 2017-19, each of the 14 league members will have played the Fighting Irish at home and in Notre Dame Stadium at least once.
In a couple of cases, Notre Dame already had an ACC team on the schedule prior to joining the league. It will still play in 2014 versus Syracuse (at the New Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.) as planned, and play host to Miami at home in 2016 as planned.
In other cases, there are changes. Notre Dame was slated to host Pitt in 2014, but the ACC realignment likely changed the structure. The Panthers will host the Irish in 2015, which had already been scheduled before either team joined the ACC.
Here is the breakdown as best we see it from what has already been announced, and with the knowledge that 1) no dates have been set yet for the ACC games and 2) Navy, Stanford and USC are the three, consistent annual teams on the slate for the long-range future:
2014 Notre Dame Schedule
ACC Home Games: Louisville, North Carolina and Wake Forest
ACC Road Games: Florida State and Syracuse
Note: The meeting with Louisville will be the first between the two football programs.
The other tentatively scheduled games are at home against Purdue, Michigan (the last until at least 2020), Stanford and Northwestern, and road games versus Temple, Navy (Nov. 1 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.), Arizona State and USC (Nov. 29).
That’s 13 games, and the Irish can play only 12. That explains why there has been extensive conversation about the game at Arizona State getting cancelled.
2015 Notre Dame Schedule
ACC Home Games: Boston College and Georgia Tech
ACC Road Games: Clemson, Pitt and Virginia
Notes: The visit to Clemson will be the first since 1977, a thrilling 21-17 Irish victory that was a huge hurdle in their march to the national title. The only other meeting with Virginia was the 1989 Kickoff Classic in the New Jersey Meadowlands, a 36-13 victory by the defending national champion Notre Dame team.
The home games outside the ACC for now include Texas, Temple, UMass, Navy and USC, while the road trips feature Purdue and Stanford (Nov. 28).
2016 Notre Dame Schedule
ACC Home Games: Duke, Miami and Virginia Tech
ACC Road Games: North Carolina State and Syracuse
Notes: The meeting with Virginia Tech will be the first between the two football programs. The only other time Notre Dame played North Carolina State was in the 2003 Gator Bowl, a 28-6 victory by the Wolfpack.
This season would include the return match at Texas (tentatively for Sept. 3) and closing at USC (Nov. 26), plus a home game against Stanford and a site to be determined against Navy. How it will shake out from there is to be determined.