ACC sticks with 8-game schedule

Updated: October 3, 2012, 5:54 PM ET
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

The ACC has decided to stay with eight league football games for the foreseeable future instead of transitioning to nine conference games in 2013 as originally planned, the conference announced on Wednesday.

The decision was made at the ACC's recent fall meetings in Boston as a result of the new agreement with Notre Dame, in which the Irish will play five games against the ACC annually.

This move was made in large part to help Florida State, Georgia Tech and Clemson, all which already have built-in SEC rivals.

"The addition of Notre Dame gives us an opportunity to reinforce a number of conference rivalries in basketball and Olympic sports while also giving our schools greater flexibility in non-conference football scheduling," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a prepared statement. "With Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame joining us, it is an exciting time in our league and our schools have made decisions that position us extremely well for the future."

Divisions, primary crossover partners and rotating opponents from the opposite division will remain consistent with what was previously announced.

Notre Dame will play five nonconference games annually against ACC teams beginning in 2014. The Irish said they will exit the Big East as an Olympic sport member as soon as they can negotiate a deal.

According to a source, the ACC also determined that any schools that are ineligible for the postseason, like North Carolina, will not be able to win a conference trophy or be named winners of their division.

Should North Carolina finish atop the Coastal Division standings this year, the division trophy and title will go to the team with the next-best record.

ESPN's Brett McMurphy contributed to this report.