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History Lesson: Irish vs. ACC

Sep 12, 2012, 3:59 PM EDT


November 19, 2011: Linebacker Manti Te’o (5) tackles Boston College running back Andre Williams during the first quarter. Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame.

Earlier today, University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. announced that Notre Dame has accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

When Notre Dame begins competition in the league, it will be the conference’s 15th member. There are currently 12 schools, with Pittsburgh and Syracuse increasing the membership to 14 on July 1, 2013.

As part of the agreement, the Fighting Irish will keep their independent status in football, but will play five games per season against ACC programs.

With that in mind, Let’s look back at Notre Dame’s football history against current and future ACC teams.

  • Boston College: 12-9
  • Clemson: 1-1
  • Duke: 3-1
  • Florida State: 2-5
  • Georgia Tech: 27-6-1
  • Maryland: 2-0
  • Miami: 16-7-1
  • North Carolina: 16-2
  • North Carolina State: 0-1
  • Pittsburgh: 46-20-1
  • Syracuse: 3-3
  • Virginia: 1-0
  • Wake Forest: 1-0

In total, the Irish have compiled a 130-55-3 record (.699 winning percentage) in 188 games against this group of teams.

Here are a couple of other interesting facts Brian Fremeau (’99) shared with me.

  • Outside of ACC teams themselves, ND has played more games against the 14 ACC teams than all but the following teams: South Carolina (462), West Virginia (363), Penn State (279), Georgia (270), Navy (265), Florida (223), Auburn (209)
  • Notre Dame’s .699 winning percentage against the 14 ACC teams is better than any of those teams themselves (FSU is next, .681 against the other 13), and seventh best overall: Fresno State (3-0, 1.000), Utah (6-1, .857), Oklahoma (43-7-1, .853), Michigan (32-9-1, .774), Ohio State (38-15-1, .713), Illinois (19-8, .704)

Virginia Tech, one of the conference’s perennial football powerhouses, is the only ACC squad that Notre Dame has never met on the football field. It will be an exciting day, when the Fighting Irish and Hokies finally play – whether in Blacksburg, Va. or right here at Notre Dame.

The Irish have played six other schools – Clemson, Duke, Maryland, NC State, Virginia and Wake Forest – a combined 11 times.

Georgia Tech, on the other hand, was a mainstay on the Notre Dame schedule during the late 1930s and early 1940s, and then again in the late 1960s and throughout much of the 1970s.

Miami and Florida State, have a brief, but storied rivalry with the Irish. Notre Dame’s wins over the Hurricanes and Seminoles in 1988 and 1993, respectively, are two of the most memorable games in the program’s 125-year history.

This year, the schedule features three ACC opponents (Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest) – four, if you include Pittsburgh.

In 2011, Notre Dame played BC, Wake Forest, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Florida State – winning four of those contests, before losing to FSU in the Champs Sports Bowl.

With the ACC agreement, Notre Dame will play each conference member at least once every three years, so you’ll begin to see some new faces (and colors) around South Bend each season.

But if you’re a fan, perhaps the more exciting news is having the opportunity to add places like Lane Stadium, Doak Campbell and Death Valley to your fall travel plans.

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