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With guidance from its medical advisors and an expectation for the unexpected, the ACC has decided to move forward with the SEC and Big 12 in its plans for a 2020 college football season this fall. The league has expanded its conference schedule, thrown divisions out the window and welcomed a 15th member in Notre Dame for this modified year, hoping to create an environment for some of the top college football players in the country to go an compete for a league title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. 

Pulling off a season is no small feat. It has and will continue to require significant investments of time and resources from schools and players, not to mention compliance from all involved. There have already been challenges with COVID-19 clusters causing ACC schools to modify their plans for the fall semester after welcoming students back to campus, but the football programs remain on a track to get their 2020 season started on Sept. 12. We've worked to compile an all-encompassing primer below, complete with schedule information, odds, storylines and the latest news. 

Here is everything that you need to know about the current state of the 2020 college football season in the ACC.

ACC football schedule 2020 

  • Games: 11
  • Format: 10 conference games, one nonconference game (optional)
  • Byes: Two per team 
  • Start date: Thursday, Sept. 10 
  • ACC Championship Game: Dec. 12 or Dec. 19 in Charlotte
  • Will there be fans? Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Miami are planning for 20-25% capacity for home games. Much of the conference is still hoping to have some fans, though the numbers are unclear. Duke and Syracuse will not have fans at games this fall. Boston College has said no fans for the month of September, but the Eagles don't have their first home game until Oct. 3 against North Carolina. 

ACC COVID-19 testing plans 

  • Coronavirus testing: The school must test all players within three days of competition with a molecular (PCR) test. Additionally, players will be tested the day before competition and within 48 hours after competition by a third party selected by the ACC office. 
  • Additional precautions: Players identified as close contacts to a positive test are required to quarantine for 14 days and must complete the full quarantine before returning to activity. Also, any team member who tests positive will undergo a cardiac evaluation that includes an electrocardiogram, a troponin test and an echocardiogram before a phased return to exercise.
  • Face coverings: Required at all times for all coaches, staff and noncompeting athletes on the sidelines. Players are not required to wear face coverings on the field, but if they remove their helmet in the team bench area, they will expected to apply a face covering. 

2020 ACC Championship odds 

Odds vis William Hill Sportsbook as of Sept. 2

  • Clemson -400 
  • Notre Dame +650 
  • Miami +1200
  • North Carolina +1400
  • Florida State +2000
  • Virginia Tech +2000
  • Louisville +3000 
  • Pitt +4000 
  • Virginia +4000
  • NC State +6000
  • Wake Forest +10000
  • Boston College +15000
  • Georgia Tech +15000
  • Duke +15000
  • Syracuse +15000

Three key questions for the ACC in 2020

  1. How will Notre Dame fare during its one-year run of full membership? Come on down and get while it's hot, for one time only -- we've got the Fighting Irish playing a college football season as a conference member! Brian Kelly has raised the floor for the Irish in the College Football Playoff era, establishing talent and depth worth of annual top-10 consideration. Compared to the rest of the ACC, that puts Notre Dame behind only Clemson from a power rankings-style analysis of the conference. The two teams were scheduled to play in one of the biggest nonconference games of the year in South Bend and it remains on the schedule now a conference game. Will it be preview of an ACC Championship Game rematch or a defining pivot point for the Irish in their pursuit of a conference title in its lone year of conference dependence? Nothing would cement Notre Dame's status as one of the strongest programs in all of college football than to match the dominance of its brand and reputation with on-field success in 2020. 
  2. Will the unusual circumstances of the season disrupt Clemson's dominance? Since 2015, the routine has become part of the program's identity. Win the division in November, win the conference in December and go play for a national championship. The two-time CFP champions, two-time CFP runners up and five-time ACC champions have actually used this natural rhythm of the modern season to their advantage. When Dabo Swinney sets out his plans for the year with his staff, it includes the expectation of a long and grinding 15-game season. Now, the team's routine has been disrupted. The ACC championship might just be rescheduled by a few weeks, and the CFP has (so far) maintained its stance that the semifinals will be held on Jan. 1. But the offseason, the preseason and everything going on around the program has been far from routine. Clemson figured out the model for consistency in the CFP era, but now it'll be tested with distraction and disruption on a weekly basis. How will that impact a team that has 38 of its last 40 ACC games? If the same clip of dominance continues, it will highlight the distance between Clemson and the rest of the league. That's something that is a compliment to the former, and a stark reminder of the challenge that remains for the latter.  
  3. How will Atlantic and Coastal teams stack up in the one-division format? Every football season is met with commentary on division balance in the ACC. The ACC Atlantic Division champion has won 11 of the 15 ACC Championship Games, and the teams that don't make it to Charlotte point to the presence of Clemson and Florida State -- who have combined for 10 of those 11 titles -- as reasons they end up with lesser conference records than their peers in the other division. The Coastal has been a point of unique intrigue for its seven champions in seven years, but the lack of a real challenger in the title game has added weight to the complaints of division balance. Well now everyone is in the same standings column with schedules that in some cases do not even include those regular division opponents. Will the Atlantic teams prove they've been unjustly limited by their annual meetings with Dabo and Co. or will the Coastal teams have enough success to suggest that the division play on their side is in fact more parity than parody? 

Latest ACC football news 

Complete 2020 ACC schedule, scores   

Week 1 (Sept. 12)
No. 17 Miami 31, UAB 14
No. 12 North Carolina 31, Syracuse 6
No. 7 Notre Dame 27, Duke 13
Georgia Tech 16, Florida State 13
No. 25 Pitt 55, Austin Peay 0
No. 1 Clemson 37, Wake Forest 13
No. 18 Louisville 35, Western Kentucky 21

Week 2 (Sept. 19)
Boston College at Duke -- Noon, Regional Sports Networks
Citadel at Clemson -- 4 p.m., ACCN
UCF at Georgia Tech -- 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Miami at Louisville -- 7:30 p.m., ABC
Charlotte at North Carolina -- 3:30 p.m., Regional Sports Networks
Wake Forest at NC State -- 8 p.m., ACCN
South Florida at Notre Dame -- 2:30 p.m., USA Network
Syracuse at Pitt -- Noon, ACCN

Week 3 (Sept. 26)
Florida State at Miami, 7:30 p.m., ABC 
Georgia Tech at Syracuse, Noon, Regional Sports Networks
Louisville at Pitt, Noon, ACC Network
Notre Dame at Wake Forest, Noon, ABC
NC State at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m., ACC Network
Duke at Virginia, 4 p.m., ACC Network
Byes: Boston College, Clemson, North Carolina

Week 4 (Oct. 3)
North Carolina at Boston College
Virginia at Clemson
Virginia Tech at Duke
NC State at Pitt
Byes: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Wake Forest

Week 5 (Oct. 10)
Louisville at Georgia Tech (Oct. 9)
Old Dominion at Wake Forest (Oct. 9)
Pitt at Boston College
Miami at Clemson
Duke at Syracuse
Florida State at Notre Dame
Virginia Tech at North Carolina
NC State at Virginia

Week 6 (Oct. 17)
Boston College at Virginia Tech
Clemson at Georgia Tech
Duke at NC State
North Carolina at Florida State
Louisville at Notre Dame
Pitt at Miami
Liberty at Syracuse
Virginia at Wake Forest

Week 7 (Oct. 24)
Georgia Tech at Boston College
Syracuse at Clemson
Florida State at Louisville
Virginia at Miami
NC State at North Carolina
Notre Dame at Pitt
Virginia Tech at Wake Forest
Bye: Duke

Week 8 (Oct. 31)
Boston College at Clemson
Charlotte at Duke
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech at Louisville
North Carolina at Virginia
Wake Forest at Syracuse
Byes: Florida State, Miami, NC State, Pitt

Week 9 (Nov. 7)
Miami at NC State (Nov. 6)
Boston College at Syracuse
Clemson at Notre Dame
North Carolina at Duke
Pitt at Florida State
Louisville at Virginia
Liberty at Virginia Tech
Byes: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest

Week 10 (Nov. 14)
Notre Dame at Boston College
Duke at Virginia
Florida State at NC State
Pitt at Georgia Tech
Miami at Virginia Tech
Wake Forest at North Carolina
Byes: Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse

Week 11 (Nov. 21)
Syracuse at Louisville (Nov. 20)
Clemson at Florida State
Wake Forest at Duke
Georgia Tech at Miami
Liberty at NC State
Virginia Tech at Pitt
Byes: Boston College, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia

Week 12 (Nov. 28)
Louisville at Boston College (Nov. 27)
Notre Dame at North Carolina (Nov. 27)
Pitt at Clemson
Duke at Georgia Tech
Virginia at Florida State
Miami at Wake Forest
NC State at Syracuse
Bye: Virginia Tech

Week 13 (Dec. 5)
Boston College at Virginia
Clemson at Virginia Tech
Florida State at Duke
Georgia Tech at NC State
Wake Forest at Louisville
North Carolina at Miami
Syracuse at Notre Dame
Bye: Pitt