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SB Nation Reacts: Should conferences focus on conference only schedules beyond 2020?

Will COVID-19 cause a landscape shift to the current and future schedules of college football?

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 23 Michigan at Indiana

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Wisconsin Badgers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

As the start of the normal college football season draws closer, schools and conferences are still scrambling to put together a 2020 schedule. On Wednesday, the Big Ten released conference-only schedules for all 14 teams.

The Badgers were the lucky ones, picking up a tenth game against the powerhouse that is Rutgers, while Minnesota picked up Maryland, and Iowa picked up a trip to Columbus. Other leagues have made similar decisions, or at least dramatically cut back on non-conference games. Fans, however, hope this is a one-year trend.

According to results from the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, more than half of NCAA football fans don’t want schedules to focus on conference games beyond this season.

Overall, I am a bit surprised to see the poll ended up that close. As a Badgers fan, I was really looking forward to this season’s non-conference games and hope that these types of games continue to be scheduled. However, the Badgers have been a team that has recently focused on scheduling competitive non-conference games. A fan base that has not had that may be hoping for more conference games as a way to avoid the cupcakes early on.

While focusing on conference games was a relatively easy fix for most teams in 2020, not every school had that option. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, notoriously independent, instead came to an agreement with the ACC for the 2020 season.

Notre Dame competes in the ACC for other sports, but has remained independent for football. This year, however, they have agreed to an ACC schedule. Nationally, fans hope this becomes the new reality. In a recent poll, more than two-thirds of fans said they hope Notre Dame stays in the ACC permanently. A decade of Clemson vs. Notre Dame in the ACC title game? Who wouldn’t want to see that!

ACC fans specifically were even more in favor of the concept, 88% of fans from ACC schools voted in favor. On the other side of things, Notre Dame fans dramatically disagree. Only 14% of Notre Dame fans think the team should stay in the conference.

Notre Dame has also long been linked to the Big Ten. However, it appears a majority of Big Ten fans are still in favor of the Midwestern team staying in the ACC. I personally have always thought Notre Dame joining the Big Ten would be a good decision for both sides. There would probably need to be some realignment within the conference, but a team like Notre Dame is a win for the conference whether it be the Big Ten or the ACC.

To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.