It was fun while it lasted.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is returning to its usual eight-game divisional formal in 2021, with Notre Dame resuming its independent status as a partial league member.
Although Thursday's schedule announcement picks up where the 2020 season left off, ignoring the pandemic-plagued irregularities that forced the Fighting Irish to forego independence and compete as a full ACC member last year, the ACC said in its release that the return to a traditional schedule "is contingent on national, state and local health guidelines allowing such competition to occur."
Notre Dame reaped the benefits of its one-year stint in the ACC, going 10-0 in regular-season conference games and playing for the league title. It was good enough to earn Notre Dame a berth in the College Football Playoff.
Assuming things return to normal in 2021, Notre Dame will resume its five-game scheduling partnership with the ACC.
In addition to opening the season Sept. 5 at Florida State, the Irish will also visit Virginia Tech (Oct. 9) and Virginia (Nov. 13) while hosting North Carolina (Oct. 30) and Georgia Tech (Nov. 20).
2021 Notre Dame Football Schedule
|Sept. 5||at Florida State|
|Sept. 25||vs. Wisconsin (Soldier Field)|
|Oct. 9||at Virginia Tech|
|Oct. 23||Southern California|
|Oct. 30||North Carolina|
|Nov. 13||at Virginia|
|Nov. 20||Georgia Tech|
|Nov. 27||at Stanford|
"The league membership also elected to play the 2021 season as it was originally scheduled and, as a result, there are several repeat site games from 2019 and 2020," the release said.
One such repeat game is Virginia's Sept. 30 trip to Miami. The Hurricanes beat Virginia 19-14 at Hard Rock Stadium last season.
Miami also visits Duke for the second straight season. The Hurricanes won 48-0 in Durham, North Carolina, last year.
The Seminoles will welcome Miami to Tallahassee in their home finale Nov. 13. It will be the latest meeting between the rivals since 2014.
Florida State will also resume its rivalries against Clemson and Florida after a one-year hiatus.
Clemson hosts FSU on the final Saturday in October. The 2020 game was canceled after the Tigers traveled to Tallahassee only to have it called off hours before kickoff.
The Seminoles will travel to Gainesville on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The 2020 game in Tallahassee was canceled after the Southeastern Conference decided to play a conference-only schedule.