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ACC confirms Notre Dame will play 10-game conference schedule, be eligible for league title game

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So much for there being no news coming on the ACC and Notre Dame front this week.

July 9, the Big Ten announced that it would be going to a conference-only schedule for football.  The Pac-12 announced a similar format the next day.  In between, ACC commissioner John Swofford indicated in a statement that he anticipated a decision on football by the conference’s Board of Directors in late July.  Tuesday, however, it was reported that a decision isn’t expected when the board meets Wednesday.  Instead, it may wait until after next Tuesday’s rather sizable NCAA meeting.

In the end, that report turned out to be inaccurate.  Very inaccurate, actually.  Late Wednesday afternoon, the ACC announced that its football schedule will consist of 11 games — 10 conference matchups and one non-conference tilt.  The season will commence over a span of several days, from Sept. 7-12.

Each conference school will have two bye weekends in a season that, if played, would be stretched out over 13 weeks.  Additionally, the non-conference game must be played in the ACC school’s home state.  That stipulation means that all three Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games will not be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta as previously scheduled.  That trio of games includes Florida State-West Virginia, Georgia-Virginia and North Carolina-Auburn.  Notre Dame at Navy, Boston College at Kansas and Florida State at Boise State are affected as well, along with a handful of other games.

The kicker?  The ACC confirms that, for this season, Notre Dame will play a 10-game conference schedule.  And would be eligible to play in the league championship game.  That title game, incidentally, will be played in Charlotte either the weekend of Dec. 12 or 19.  It had been scheduled for Dec. 5.  The ACC also confirmed that the title game participants will be determined by the teams with the highest winning percentage in conference play.

The Fighting Irish would also be eligible to claim the ACC’s Orange Bowl berth, if it’s not in the College Football Playoff.

For both the ACC and Notre Dame, this is certainly a monumental development.

Notre Dame has never played in a conference championship game since it began playing the sport way back in 1887.  Why?  Because the Fighting Irish have been a football independent for every one of those 133 seasons.

The ACC becomes the first Power Five conference to formally release a 2020 schedule.  Below is said slate.  And, if that’s too hard to read, click HERE.

Dismissed Florida State RB Khalan Laborn officially enters transfer portal

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For one former Florida State football player, this was the logical next step.

Tuesday, Florida State confirmed that Khalan Laborn had been dismissed from the Florida State football team.  The only reason given was the standard unspecified violation of team rules.

One day later, 247Sports.com confirmed that the running back is officially listed in the NCAA transfer database.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Laborn was a five-star member of the Florida State football Class of 2017.  The Virginia Beach, VA, product was rated as the No. 1 player regardless of position in the state.  He was also the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country.  Only three signees in the class that year for the Seminoles were rated higher.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Laborn appeared in just two games in 2018 before suffering a season-ending injury.  This past season, Laborn set career highs with 63 carries for 297 yards and four touchdowns.  He also caught 10 passes for 66 yards.

His most headline-worthy accomplishment, though, came prior to his time at FSU.  In July of 2016, Laborn committed to Florida State football.  Using a Lamborghini.

ACC reportedly won’t make a decision on football schedule this week

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It was anticipated that some significant news would be coming out of the ACC regarding football this week.  Instead, that scheduling can will be kicked down the road.  Again.

July 9, the Big Ten announced that it would be going to a conference-only schedule for football.  The Pac-12 announced a similar format the next day.  In between, ACC commissioner John Swofford indicated in a statement that he anticipated a decision on football by the conference’s Board of Directors in late July.

Thus, it was expected that an announcement from the ACC on its football schedule would be in the offing in the coming days.  Brett McMurphy, however, is reporting that a decision isn’t expected when the board meets Wednesday.  Instead, it may wait until after next Tuesday’s rather sizable NCAA meeting.

When the ACC ultimately decides on a football scheduling format, it’s expected to include 10 conference games and one out-of-conference matchup.  Additionally, there’s a chance that Notre Dame could be considered a member of the conference for one season, making the football independent eligible for the league championship game.  The Pac-12 will also reportedly play 10 conference games, albeit without one out of conference.

As for the SEC?  They too have been expected to make an announcement at some point this week.  Whether they follow the ACC’s lead remains to be seen.

The Big 12, meanwhile, could wait another two weeks or more before it makes a decision.

Florida State dismisses former 5-star RB Khalan Laborn from the team

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UPDATED 4:53 p.m. ET: Subsequent to this report, Florida State confirmed that Khalan Laborn has been dismissed from the football team.  The only reason given was an unspecified violation of team rules.

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(Below is the initial report, in its entirety.)

It appears Florida State is getting set to take some pruning shears to its football roster.

According to 247Sports.com, Florida State football is expected to remove Khalan Laborn from its roster at some point Tuesday.  Exactly what the reason is behind the move is unknown, although the website wrote that the running back “has been sidelined before for indiscretions in his time at FSU.”

It should be noted that, as of this posting, Laborn’s name is still listed on the official online roster of the Seminoles.  If/when Laborn is removed from the roster, it’s expected he will enter the NCAA database.  Speaking of which…

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Laborn was a five-star member of the Florida State football Class of 2017.  The Virginia Beach, VA, product was rated as the No. 1 player regardless of position in the state.  He was also the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country.  Only three signees in the class that year for the Seminoles were rated higher.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Laborn appeared in just two games in 2018 before suffering a season-ending injury.  This past season, Laborn set career highs with 63 carries for 297 yards and four touchdowns.  He also caught 10 passes for 66 yards.

His most headline-worthy accomplishment, though, came prior to his time at FSU.  In July of 2016, Laborn committed to Florida State football.  Using a Lamborghini.

Justin Fields, Chuba Hubbard headline Maxwell Award preseason watch list

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#WatchListSZN continues unabated, with the Maxwell Award next up on the preseason junket.

Friday morning, the Maxwell Award announced its preseason watch list consisting of 90 college football players from across the country.  Presently annually to the Collegiate Player of the Year, the Maxwell Award is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the sport.

None of the three finalists from a year ago, LSU quarterback and 2019 winner Joe Burrow, Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, are on this year’s watch list.  Burrow and Young, incidentally, went 1-2 in the 2020 NFL Draft.  There are, however, six semifinalists from a year ago.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with 15 watch listers, followed by the ACC (14) and SEC (13).  The AAC and Mountain West, with nine apiece, have the most for Group of Five leagues.  And the other Power Fives?  The Pac-12 posted eight, the Big 12 seven.

Four individual schools, Alabama, Indiana, Louisville and Memphis, had three players apiece on the preseason watch list.  Another 11 have two each: Auburn, Boise State, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State and SMU.

Below is the complete preseason watch list for the 2020 Maxwell Award.