No. 2 Irish earn spot in ACC title game after cancellation

No. 2 Notre Dame clinched a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game as the league shifted its schedule on Tuesday to create an open date for the Fighting Irish and No. 4 Clemson for their likely December 19 rematch.

The ACC announced that Notre Dame’s game against Wake Forest, which was moved to December 12 after it was postponed in late September, will not be played. The Irishman in first place (9-0, 8-0 ACC) will receive Syracuse on Saturday to close their regular season. Notre Dame has every possible tiebreaker in the hands of title game contenders Clemson (8-1, 7-1) and Miami (7-1, 6-1), even if it loses to Syracuse.

Clemson’s postponed game in Florida State will also not be made up. The Tigers can claim a place in the championship game on Saturday with a victory over Virginia Tech.

Notre Dame beat Clemson last month in South Bend, Indiana, with double overtime and both are well positioned to make it to the College Football Playoff as they start the ACC title game without another blemish on their records.

A win for Clemson in the rematch could send both to the CFP semifinals. Normally an independent football fan, Notre Dame joined the ACC this season after the pandemic forced major college football conferences to drastically change their schedules.

No. 9 Miami could still earn a spot in the ACC championship game if Clemson lost. The Hurricanes will play at Duke on Saturday and are scheduled for December 12 in North Carolina.

If Miami doesn’t make it to the ACC championship game, it will play Georgia Tech at home on December 19.

Florida State, which has been postponed for three consecutive games due to COVID-19 issues, is now scheduled to host Duke on December 12 and play at Wake Forest on December 1.

Wake Forest will play against Louisville on December 12 now that the game against Notre Dame has been called off.