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Georgia Tech’s game this season vs. Notre Dame will be played at Bobby Dodd Stadium, not Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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The ACC’s announcement Wednesday isn’t the only adjustment to the Georgia Tech schedule for the 2020 college football season.

In February of last year, Georgia Tech announced that it would play five future games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in nearby Atlanta.  The first of those “home” football games for Tech was scheduled to be against Notre Dame at the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

Thursday, Georgia Tech announced that its 2020 football game against Notre Dame will now be played at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  The date of that game is to be determined.

Additionally, Tech announced that its agreement with AMB Sports + Entertainment (AMBSE) has been extended out six seasons instead of the original five.  That means the Yellow Jackets will play one game per season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium from 2021-26.

“I’m saddened for this year’s team that they won’t have the opportunity to open our annual series at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but I’m appreciative of our administration and the leaders at AMB Sports + Entertainment for being so flexible given the unique circumstances of this season,” Georgia Tech head football coach Geoff Collins said in a statement. “The great news is that instead of a five-year series, we now have a six-year series to host one game each season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium from 2021 through 2026. It’s a great honor for our program to be the only team in college football that is guaranteed to play at least one game every season in the premier football facility in the world, which just happens to be located less than one mile from our campus. It’s an opportunity that our current and future student-athletes are excited about.”

Two of the six future opponents for Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium have been determined.  Tech will face Clemson on Sept. 5 of 2022 in one of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games.  Then, Oct. 19, 2024, they will square off with Notre Dame.

It’s projected that Tech will take home an additional $10 million by moving the games away from Bobby Dodd Stadium.

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.

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.

Georgia Tech’s Kelton Dawson reverses course, withdraws from transfer portal

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Georgia Tech football is the latest beneficiary of the rare, but not unheard of, portal reversal.

In early June, it was reported that Kelton Dawson had taken the first step in leaving the Georgia Tech football team by entering the NCAA transfer database.  The defensive lineman subsequently confirmed it on his personal Twitter account.

Below, though, is a portion of the disclaimer we always in every portal post:

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school.

And now we see the method as to our redundant madness.  According to 247Sports.com, Dawson has removed his name from the NCAA transfer database.  Interestingly, the pinned tweet on Dawson’s Twitter account remains the one in which he announced his decision to move on from the Georgia Tech football team.  At last, as of this posting it does.

Dawson was a three-star member of the Class of 2017 for the Yellow Jackets.

The lineman took a redshirt as a true freshman.  Dawson then appeared in one game in 2018, recording his first career tackle.  A season ago, he started seven of 11 games in which he played.  In that action, he was credited with 26 tackles, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

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.