Notre Dame – ACC Matchups We Can’t Wait to See

A trip to Death Valley to see the Irish take on Clemson is a new opportunity Notre Dame will be able to take advantage of in the near future. (Photo - Joshua S. Kelly / US PRESSWIRE)

Notre Dame fans are going to get very used to seeing ACC teams now that the Irish will be playing 5 games a season against their conference (in all other sports) brethren.  With that in mind, here’s a look at some matchups I’d love to see against ACC teams without taking into account teams Notre Dame is already slated to play regularly such as Boston College and Pitt.


Many Irish fans might not remember, but Notre Dame and Clemson had a home and home series in 1977 and ’79 with the two schools splitting the games by both winning on the road.  Dan Devine’s 5th ranked Irish took care of #15 Clemson on the road in ’77 during Devine’s national championship season on the Irish sidelines.  Personally, I have always kind of liked Clemson as well.  Maybe it’s because Brian Dawkins, my favorite non-Notre Dame athlete in any sport, went there or maybe it’s because I’ve always liked the orange jerseys.  Whatever the case, a road game with Clemson is unique road trip for Notre Dame fans, and I know I will be making the first road trip to Death Valley.

Florida State

I know that the current agreement calls for Notre Dame to play every ACC team once every three years, but I for one would not be opposed to seeing the Irish and Seminoles playing every year.  The 1993 classic still ranks as one of my fondest memories as a Notre Dame fan.  I still remember vividly skipping basketball practice that afternoon as an 11 year old and telling my coach, “Sorry coach, but it’s #1 vs. #2.”  Combine that with my affection for the NBC intro narrated by Bob Costas and it’s easy to see why I would love a yearly match up with them… just around the corner… on main street.

And on that note, I would be completely remiss if I did not embed aforementioned intro at this time.

Oh yeah, and we definitely are in need of some payback for last year’s Champ Sports Bowl.

Virginia Tech

The only school in the ACC that Notre Dame has never played.  Virginia Tech would be a great road trip and a great opponent for the Irish.  Frank Beamer’s teams are consistently ranked in the top 25 year in and year out and play a brand of football most Notre Dame fans would love to see more of in South Bend – smart, tough, fundamentally sound, and featuring great special teams play.  A Notre Dame – Virginia Tech matchup would be an event in college football and would pit one of the most storied programs in college football history against one of the strongest programs of the past 20 years.


While the Hurricanes might not be what the once were – and while this year’s matchup appears to have lost a lot of luster thanks to Miami’s lackluster play so far – anytime the two schools play will be a constant reminder of the intense rivalry the two schools had at the end of the 80’s.  Notre Dame has now won the last two matchups in this series and owns a 16-7 edge in the all-time series.  I for one would not mind seeing Notre Dame continue to improve on that record with regular showdowns with Miami.  A late season road trip to South Beach would be a little bit more attractive than squeezing in an extra home game in November in South Bend too.

Georgia Tech

Notre Dame and Georgia Tech have played some really entertaining games over the years and with one option team, Navy, already on the yearly schedule, a game against the Yellow Jackets would make a lot of football sense for Notre Dame.  Defending the option can be a daunting task if you are unfamiliar with it, but since the Irish already need to prepare for it once a season, they could be in a unique position in such a matchup.  Additionally, a road trip to Atlanta would also be a fun trip for Notre Dame fans to make.


While the Cavaliers might not necessarily offer the stiffest of competition from a football perspective, Charlottesville is an absolutely awesome college town with a beautiful campus.  The two schools have actually only played once – a 36-13 victory for Lou Holtz’s squad in 1989 – with neither team visiting the other’s campus.  For the history geeks among us, there are a lot of great Civil War sites to be seen in the area as well which would make for a pretty nice fall road trip.

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  1. FallontheFlats 5 years ago

    I’m a Georgia Tech fan. Some of my clearest memories are of games between the Yellow Jackets and the Fighting Irish. Welcome to the ACC, and I will be pulling for Notre Dame every time you play any team outside the ACC, and many times when you play teams in the ACC. I have the utmost respect for your university and what it stands for. I am also happy that Tech and Notre Dame are permanent partners in basketball.

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  2. Tallaman 5 years ago

    Looking forward to renewing a burgeoning rivalry with ND in Tally next year. It’ll be a lot of fun and, hopefully, a long trip back for the boys in blue. Welcome to the ACC fella’s and Go Noles!

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  3. vince 5 years ago

    Crabs? No thanks. I’ll wait till we play Maryland to get my crabs if it’s all the same to you.

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  4. StanfordHall90 5 years ago

    I haven’t seen any reporting or discussion on the home/ away challenge the ACC agreement introduces. One report indicated that, of the 5 ACC football games, we’ll alternate by year (2 home/3 home/2 home…).

    Although I’m not fully in favor of the 7 home/ 5 away plan due to the unfair advantage, the neutral site home game evens it out and I recognize other top schools are even more unbalanced in the Home:Away ratio. So I’m OK with 7 home/ 5 away plan.

    However, the ACC agreement will limit our ability to keep this up if we desire quality opponents. We’ll need to maintain 4.5:2.5 (home: away) ratio to maintain the 7H/5A plan. Stanford, USC, and Navy are all home-away series. If all three remain on the schedule, we’ll have 3 home and 1 away left available. Any Big 10 agreement would most likely be a straight home-away series, as would any quality BCS quality team. Does this mean we’re looking at 2 complete patsies per year (assuming only a patsy would agree to a one game series at ND)? Or do we abandon 7H/5A?

    The even home-away split is the only aspect of the ACC plan I don’t like.

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  5. JC 5 years ago

    Kudos Frank,

    I enjoyed the Clemson 77 game and look forward to playing them again. I also remember Montana and Devine took a long time to warm-up to each other.

    Hear come the Irish!

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  6. Titus 5 years ago

    Well, if we needed any evidence of why Notre Dame playing in the ACC is head-scratchingly bone-headed, Shazamrock has certainly provided it.

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    1. Shazamrock 5 years ago


      I actually have the utmost respect for the ACC.
      There are many fine institutions of higher learning that are rich with wonderful traditions and own a beautiful campus.
      For the most part, the people are really great.

      But for ND and the ACC with Clemson, it is like getting a date with a really smokin hot babe, only to find out later that she has the crabs.

      Whata ya gonna do.

      Still Beats the hell out of the Big East with SMU.

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  7. JC 5 years ago

    Bittersweet video, considering the scrofulous AP Poll and others handed Bobby Bowden his 1st National Championship Trophy GIFT WRAPPED, at the expense of giving Lou his well deserved 2nd title!!!

    Looking forward to the new playoff system delivering the National Championship Trophy to the correct team.

    Here come the Irish!

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  8. Shazamrock 5 years ago

    For a while I lived in Clemson territory.

    The place stinks like stagnant swamp water, too many bugs, the food sucks, mold, spores, and fungus rule, they still resent the fact that their side lost the civil war, and they can’t drive.

    Other than that, it’s a real garden spot!

    The biggest thing that ever came out of flemson was Willian “The Refrigerator” Perry.

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    1. storespook 5 years ago

      Hey, Shaz, tell us how you really feel, hahahahaha. Definitely agree about the “Frig.” They did win a NC back in the early 80’s didn’t they?

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      1. Shazamrock 5 years ago

        jesus, mary, & joesph…

        The friggin 1981 National Championship!

        Had to bring that up didn’t you.

        That’s all they want to tell you about!

        What they don’t like hearing about is Nov. 21st 1982.

        That’s the day when they were put on a 2 year probation for 150 documented recruiting violations that included (but were not limited to): improper recruiting inducements, extra benefits, unethical conduct, improper financial aid, improper campus visits,improper transportation & entertainment,improper use of funds,improper employment, and distribution of cash to players by coaches.

        The only advice I can give you if you decide to go down for a game… if you happen to get lost and hear banjo music…. you better paddle faster!

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      2. storespook 5 years ago

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever venture that way, Shaz!

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  9. Toulmin H. Brown 5 years ago

    I read Penn State is considering the ACC. I am curious as to whether any here would know if this is true? While PSU is at its lowest ebb currently it none the less represents PA. + New York, New York (Jo Pa). Monitary value + tradition matter of course. Should this transition manifest itself PSU would provide a tradition rich rival for Notre Dame.

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