Once again, a high-profile opponent opponent will catch a breather before their game with Notre Dame football.
The ACC released their 2020 football schedules today. Once again, the Irish will be done no favors. Clemson will get a bye week leading into the Notre Dame football game. Two other ACC schools, Duke and Pitt, will also get byes heading into their match-ups with Notre Dame.
Three ACC teams also had byes leading into their game against Notre Dame this season. There were seven total teams to have byes before playing the Irish in 2019.
That number of seven teams to get a bye week before playing Notre Dame can make one paranoid when they see another three ACC teams have a bye week before playing Notre Dame. Just remember, last season there was an extra bye week for everyone. That made it easier for teams to schedule a bye before a marque match-up like Notre Dame.
This season there is no extra bye week, but three ACC teams still get byes before playing the Irish. Except, Notre Dame also has a bye week before Duke, so that evens out. Make it two ACC teams, out of six, who actually get more time to prepare for the game than Notre Dame.
Still, Pitt will be a tough game, made tougher by this set-up. Clemson would have been an uphill battle before you gave them extra time to prepare.
That’s the biggest issue. Brent Venables with two weeks to prepare for anyone is trouble. Rest assured that Clemson will come to South Bend with a defense that they have yet to put to tape, and is designed to shut down Notre Dame’s offense.
Tommy Rees will be tasked with coming up with a gameplan that out-schemes Venables. It’s a tall task for anyone. Even if, like me, you have full faith in Rees as offensive coordinator, this game still gives you more than a little bit of pause.
On top of having more time to scheme, Clemson also gets time to rest. They get time to recover from injuries, and make their trip to South Bend without being banged up as bad. Notre Dame won’t have that luxury.
It would make one look like a crazy conspiracy theorist if they went around claiming the ACC did this for some nefarious purpose. Yes, this is by far the toughest game on Clemson’s cupcake-laden schedule. Yes, if Clemson loses a single game they don’t deserve to be in the Playoff, because their schedule is so weak (unless there are a couple surprise teams on the schedule). Yes, this bye makes the game much easier for Clemson.
Let’s try not to be paranoid, even if it’s more fun to turn the schedule into an ‘us against them’ bulletin board material.