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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.

Standout Virginia Tech corner Caleb Farley becomes second FBS player to opt out of 2020 season

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Illinois can most certainly sympathize with the Virginia Tech football team.

It was reported earlier this week that Illinois’ Ra’Von Bonner was not going to play in 2020 due to what were described as personal reasons.  The running back, an asthmatic, subsequently confirmed that he is sidelining himself over COVID-19 concerns.

Now, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com is reporting that Virginia Tech football player Caleb Farley is doing the same.  The difference between Farley and Bonner?  Bonner plans on returning to the college game.  Farley, meanwhile, will spend the 2020 season training for the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Hokies defensive back is widely viewed as a likely first-round selection in the upcoming draft.

The loss for Virginia Tech football and its defense is a significant one.

As a redshirt sophomore last season, Farley led the ACC in passes defensed with 16 and was tied for second in the league with four interceptions.  Following the regular season, he earned first-team all-conference honors.

A three-star 2017 signee, Farley missed his entire true freshman season due to injury.

Farley and Bonner are the first two known FBS players to opt out of the 2020 season.  They will most certainly not be the last, especially for those, like Farley, have NFL draft aspirations.

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.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Michigan AD proclaiming Brady Hoke wasn’t on the hot seat less than five months before Hoke was fired

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The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on July 28, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: No longer enrolled at Alabama, could Eyabi Anoma be in play for Maryland?
THE SYNOPSIS: In the end, the answer was no.  The five-star 2018 linebacker ultimately transferred to Houston.  In February of this year, however, Anoma was dismissed by UH for violating unspecified team rules. Last month, he announced he was transferring to FCS Tennessee-Martin.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia will miss 2017 season to recover from health issues
THE SYNOPSIS: In January of 2019, Moglia stepped down as head coach.  He still, though, maintains “executive authority” over the Chanticleers football program.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Ex-Alabama LB Christian Bell announces transfer to Wisconsin
THE SYNOPSIS: Nearly four years later, Bell moved on from Wisconsin to Illinois.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Frank Beamer wants Hokies to stay in-house for a successor
THE SYNOPSIS: That would’ve likely meant long-time defensive coordinator Bud Foster.  Or even Beamer’s then-assistant — and son  — Shane Beamer.  In the end, it was Justin Fuente who replaced Beamer after he retired following the 2015 season.   Foster stayed on for another four seasons before his own retirement.  Shane Beamer, meanwhile, joined the Georgia coaching staff for the 2016 season.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Michigan AD says Brady Hoke isn’t on hot seat
THE SYNOPSIS: Hoke was fired less than five months later.  In four seasons with the Wolverines, Hoke went 31-20 overall and 18-14 in Big Ten play.  After winning 11 games his first season in Ann Arbor, Hoke won nine, seven and five games the last three.  In January, he was named as the head coach at San Diego State.  For the second time.

2010

THE HEADLINE: 1986 Miami Hurricanes top most-hated list
THE SYNOPSIS: This is for all of sports.  Not just college football, mind you.  Another Miami squad, the 1990 version, came in at No. 11 of the SI.com Top 25.  Others from college football included USC’s 2005 team (15th) and Notre Dame’s 1993 squad (17th).

2009

THE HEADLINE: Another ‘Nippany’ Lion popped for DUI
THE SYNOPSIS: Get it?  See what we did there?

Virginia Tech RB J’wan Evans tweets move into transfer portal

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For the second time in a month, Virginia Tech is losing a football player to the transfer portal.

In mid-June, suspended defensive end Jaevon Becton entered his name into the NCAA transfer database.  This week, running back J’wan Evans took the first step in leaving Virginia Tech football by making his way to the portal.

Evans made his announcement on Twitter.

“I am extremely thankful to the Virginia Tech football program for the last year,” the back wrote. “I was able to learn under a great coaching staff and develop my game tremendously on the field and in the weight room.  Virginia Tech will always hold a special place in my heart.

“With that being said, I am looking for a new home and entering the transfer portal.  I am eager to begin the next chapter of my football career where I can continue to make my dreams a reality.”

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.

Evans didn’t see any action as a true freshman this past season for the Hokies.  It’s expected the Philadelphia product will have to sit out the 2020 season.  That would then leave him with three years of eligibility starting in 2021.