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ACC distributed $23.8 million to members in 2015-16 as revenue declines

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Everybody in college athletics is making money — outside of the players — but the ACC was one entity that didn’t quite make as much as they did the year prior.

The reason for a slight decline in total revenue in the ACC? It’s members can thank not having the hefty buyout Maryland paid to leave the league and join the Big Ten the year prior.

Ace Daily Press reporter David Teel recently obtained the conference’s tax returns for the 2015-16 fiscal year and they show a still-robust $373.4 million in total revenue. That resulted in a nice $23.8 million distribution to the 14 member schools and a payment of just over $4 million to Notre Dame as part of the Irish’s agreement to house their non-football sports in the ACC.

The ACC was the big winner among the Power Five conference in the prior tax return period, seeing their revenue jump by a whopping $100 million in 2014-15 to $403.1 million. Taking out the $30 million buyout that the Terps paid in order to leave and revenue was essentially flat for the ACC year-over-year.

Despite that, the balance sheet is still a very healthy one and slots the ACC in front of the Big 12’s $313 million in total revenue among the Power Five conferences. That only means a fourth place finish though as the Pac-12 ($488 million), Big Ten ($483.4 million) and SEC ($639 million) all came out significantly ahead.

USA Today reports that ACC commissioner John Swofford didn’t feel the pinch of the decline however, as his salary was just a tad under $3 million in the same reporting period and represented an increase of nearly $300,000 from the year prior. Something says everybody in the league can expect future increases though with Clemson’s back-to-back national title game appearances as well as the upcoming ACC Network launch factoring into the equation in coming years.

Liberty will pay Old Dominion $1.32 million for 2018 game

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This is, well, something.

As you may have been reminded by President Trump‘s commencement announcement over the weekend, Liberty will begin its transition to the FBS level as an FCS independent in 2017. They will then transition to an FBS independent in 2018, although they won’t be able to become bowl-eligible until 2019.

In the aftermath of Trump’s schedule dump, Liberty confirmed a litany of future games, including one against Conference USA’s Old Dominion to open the 2018 season.  And, according to the Virginian-Pilot by way of records obtained through a Freedom of Information request, the nascent FBS program will be paying its guests a staggering $1.32 million for said opener.

You could put an asterisk next to that hefty sum, though, as a game against a Power Five opponent that season will seemingly pay for the ODU payout.  From the newspaper:

Liberty athletic director Ian McCaw said the school could afford to pay that much only because it signed a guarantee game in 2018 with a Power 5 school “that is upwards of seven figures.” That guarantee essentially will be forwarded to ODU, he said.

Liberty has P5 games against Auburn and Virginia scheduled for 2018.  It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that the program to which the former Baylor AD is referring is the one from the money-rich SEC.

“It was difficult to complete our schedule, and we appreciate that Old Dominion worked with us,” McCaw told the paper.

President Donald Trump announces future FBS foes for Liberty football in commencement address

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While we may all try to stick to sports nowadays, sometimes one just can’t help but see politics cross streams a bit with college football. Case in point came on Saturday as President Donald Trump announced the future FBS opponents for Liberty University, where the he gave the commencement address for the class of 2017.

Jerry (Fallwell Jr.), are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Trump said while reading off the names of the opponents. “Auburn? I don’t know about that. This could be trouble.”

Liberty received a waiver earlier this year from the NCAA to make the move to FBS full-time and will play several top-tier opponents in 2018 as part of that transition from the FCS level. Per the schedule released by the school afterward, here are the FBS schools who have scheduled games with the Flames and the dates of their future meetings:

Army
Sept. 8, 2018 – Liberty at Army
Nov. 27, 2021 – Army at Liberty
Sept. 20, 2025 – Liberty at Army
Nov. 28, 2026 – Army at Liberty

Auburn
Nov. 17, 2018 – Liberty at Auburn

BYU
Nov. 9, 2019 – Liberty at BYU
Oct. 22, 2022 – BYU at Liberty

Buffalo
Sept. 14, 2019 – Buffalo at Liberty
Sept. 16, 2023 – Liberty at Buffalo

Old Dominion
Sept. 1, 2018 – Old Dominion at Liberty

Ole Miss
Nov. 13, 2021 – Liberty at Ole Miss

Massachusetts (UMass)
Nov. 3, 2018 – Liberty at UMass

New Mexico
Sept. 29, 2018 – Liberty at New Mexico
Sept. 28, 2019 – New Mexico at Liberty

New Mexico State
Oct. 6, 2018 – Liberty at New Mexico State
Nov. 24, 2018 – New Mexico State at Liberty
Oct. 5, 2019 – Liberty at New Mexico State
Nov. 30, 2019 – New Mexico State at Liberty

North Texas
Sept. 22, 2018 – North Texas at Liberty
Oct. 9, 2021 – Liberty at North Texas

Rutgers
Oct. 26, 2019 – Liberty at Rutgers

Troy
Oct. 13, 2018 – Troy at Liberty

Virginia
Nov. 10, 2018 – Liberty at Virginia
Nov. 23, 2019 – Liberty at Virginia
Sept. 11, 2027 – Virginia at Liberty

Virginia Tech
Sept. 5, 2020 – Liberty at Virginia Tech

Wake Forest
Sept. 17, 2022 – Liberty at Wake Forest
Aug. 30, 2025 – Wake Forest at Liberty
Sept. 3, 4 or 5, 2026 – Liberty at Wake Forest

Liberty will be an FCS independent during the upcoming season before transitioning into an FBS independent in 2018. The school will not be bowl eligible until 2019, when they will have fully made the move up a level to become a full-time FBS program.

ACC, Notre Dame release future schedules through 2037

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Yes, you read that correctly — two decades out.

Since 2014, Notre Dame and the ACC have had a scheduling relationship that sees the Fighting Irish face five teams from that conference each season.  That schedule had previously been announced through the 2025 season; Thursday, the schedule through the 2037 season was announced as well.

There are 60 games total in this portion of the agreement, with 30 of those being home contests for the Irish.

“The ACC’s football partnership with Notre Dame has been extremely successful throughout our first four seasons,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “As we look to the future, these games will continue to enhance the experience for our players, schools and fans.”

Over the past three seasons, Notre Dame was 9-6 against ACC schools.  They were 2-3 last season.

Below are the complete future matchups between the two entities:

2026
Notre Dame at Florida State
Louisville at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at North Carolina
Syracuse at Notre Dame
Virginia at Notre Dame

2027
Notre Dame at Clemson
Notre Dame at Duke
Georgia Tech at Notre Dame
Virginia Tech at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Wake Forest

2028
Boston College at Notre Dame
Clemson at Notre Dame
Miami at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Pitt
Notre Dame at Virginia Tech

2029
Notre Dame at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at NC State
Notre Dame at Syracuse
Wake Forest at Notre Dame

2030
Notre Dame at Boston College
Duke at Notre Dame
Florida State at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Louisville
North Carolina at Notre Dame

2031
Notre Dame at Clemson (Labor Day night)
Miami at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at North Carolina
NC State at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Virginia

2032
Florida State at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech
Louisville at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Miami
Wake Forest at Notre Dame

2033
Notre Dame at Boston College
Notre Dame at Duke
Notre Dame at Louisville
Pitt at Notre Dame
Virginia Tech at Notre Dame

2034
Clemson at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Miami
Notre Dame at Pitt
Syracuse at Notre Dame
Virginia at Notre Dame

2035
Boston College at Notre Dame
Duke at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Louisville
Notre Dame at NC State
Notre Dame at Virginia

2036
Florida State at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech
North Carolina at Notre Dame
Pitt at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Virginia Tech (Labor Day night)

2037
Notre Dame at Clemson
Miami at Notre Dame
NC State at Notre Dame
Notre Dame at Syracuse
Notre Dame at Wake Forest

ACC confirms conference’s football title game returning to Charlotte

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After a one-year sabbatical, the ACC’s football championship game is returning to the state of North Carolina.

Late last month, shortly after the state announced that it had replaced the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), the ACC Council of Presidents voted that the state would again be considered as venues for future league championships.  Wednesday, the conference confirmed that this year’s football title game will again be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Furthermore, to in some ways compensate the city for its one-year loss of the game, the ACC announced that the agreement to play the game in Charlotte has been extended through the 2020 season. The original agreement was expected to expire in 2019.

The league also noted in its release that “[c]hampionship events in women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis will also return to the state during the 2017-18 academic year, and the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship will follow suit in November 2018.”

“We are pleased that ACC neutral site championships will return to the state of North Carolina beginning with the 2017-18 academic year,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “We value all of our partners in North Carolina and appreciate their support and cooperation. We are thrilled to renew our relationships with so many terrific people, outstanding cities and first-class venues.”

The ACC announced in late September of last year that the football championship game for the 2016 season would be played in Orlando.

The move to Orlando came almost two weeks to the day that the ACC announced it was yanking the title game away from the city of Charlotte and out of the state of North Carolina. The move was in response to HB2, a law which some claimed fostered discrimination against members of the LGBT communities.

Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010. Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).