Though his team was on the short end of an instant classic last Saturday in South Bend, Ind., Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he is in favor of Notre Dame joining the ACC permanently.
Currently, the Irish’s membership as an ACC member in football is just a one-year deal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with them slaying the conference’s dragon in double overtime, some wonder if the Irish would possibly want to make playing in the ACC a permanent thing.
One might think after Notre Dame snapped Clemson’s 28-game conference winning streak and possibly putting the Tigers’ five-year stranglehold on the ACC in jeopardy, that Clemson would not want to see the Irish as a full-time conference member.
But that is not the case. Swinney said he would absolutely be in favor of Notre Dame joining the conference full-time.
“Why not? Notre Dame is a great program,” he said. “You would be crazy as a conference if you did not want Notre Dame. I would love to have Notre Dame in the conference, it would be awesome.”
The Irish (7-0, 6-0 ACC) took over first place in the ACC with its 47-40 victory this past Saturday. It marks the first time Clemson has not been either tied or alone in first place in the ACC since the start of the 2015 season.
Clemson and Notre Dame are scheduled to play again in South Bend in 2022 and then back at Clemson in 2023. The two programs will also meet in 2027, 2028, 2031, 2034 and 2037. At the moment, all of those games are considered non-conference games.
However, if Clemson can close out the year with wins over Florida State, Pitt and Virginia Tech, then the Tigers and Irish could possibly meet again in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 19.
Notre Dame’s win this past Saturday was its first over Clemson since 1977. The Tigers had won the previous three meetings in 1979, 2015 and 2018. The 2018 meeting was in the Cotton Bowl Classic and was a part of the College Football Playoff Semifinals.
Clemson won the Cotton Bowl 30-3, but the four regular-season meetings have all been decided by six points or less. The Tigers won the 1979 game in South Bend 16-10 and then the 2015 game in Clemson 24-22.
The Irish won the 1977 meeting at Death Valley 21-17, and then of course their double-overtime win last week.
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