HUNTINGTON — The Atlantic Coast Conference’s decision to stay in league for all but one contest in 2020 has a direct impact on the Mountain State’s two Division I programs.
Both Marshall and West Virginia had marquee games put in limbo when the ACC announced a scheduling model that made Notre Dame a league member for 2020 under an 11-game format including 10 league games and one non-conference game.
Per the ACC release, all non-conference games involving its league members must happen at the home state of the ACC team, which means Marshall will not host Pittsburgh on Sept. 12.
Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick has stated previously that there is a $1 million buyout associated with Marshall’s Sept. 12 home date with Pitt, should the Panthers not make the trip to Huntington.
When reached by phone on Wednesday, however, Hamrick said he would not comment on any plans in regards to the contest because he had not yet heard from Pitt on the matter.
“At this point, it’s premature for me to make any comment,” Hamrick said.
Hamrick did say that he is committed to a 12-game slate for the Herd, no matter the outcome of the Pitt game. Obviously, future conference considerations could change that, but that is his focus.
“At this time, our plans are to play a 12-game schedule, yes,” Hamrick said.
The announcement also leaves West Virginia in position to lose its Sept. 5 season-opener with Florida State, which was scheduled as part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
With only one non-conference game allowed under the 11-game revised scheduling model, it is likely that Florida State will try to keep its annual rivalry game with Florida. That leaves the Mountaineers without an opponent.
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan told the Orlando Sentinel last week that if Florida State-West Virginia does get altered due to a new scheduling format, there is a possibility that Virginia moves into Florida State’s spot to play West Virginia.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity confirmed to The Macon Telegraph’s Brandon Sudge that the ACC announcement “Eliminates UVA game,” but the ACC’s edict that non-conference games must be played in state makes WVU-Virginia essentially impossible without a waiver.
Early on Wednesday, it was expected the ACC may wait to make a decision on the matter after the next NCAA Board of Governors meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 4. However, the inclusion of Notre Dame into the conference landscape allowed the league the flexibility to go away from a proposed scheduling co-op between the ACC, the SEC and the Big 12.