A sense of normalcy will return to South Bend, Indiana this weekend. After a long, uncertain offseason, No. 10 Notre Dame will take the field on Saturday afternoon for an ACC showdown with Duke. Yes, it will look much different with stricter safety precautions in place and a limited crowd permitted inside the stadium, but at least the Fighting Irish are playing football.

Head coach Brian Kelly wasn’t sure that would be the case a month ago. When the B1G opted to postpone its fall football schedule, Kelly was afraid that there might be a ripple effect that hit the rest of the college football world.

“There were ups and downs. The B1G not playing was one of those bad days,” Kelly said, according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. “We kept our head down…and felt some comfort as a group.”

Notre Dame’s decision to join the ACC this fall paid off. It’s one of three conferences at the Power 5 level still pushing forward with a fall football schedule, along with the Big 12 and SEC. The B1G and Pac-12 have backed out.

Group of 5 conferences MAC and Mountain West have canceled fall football, shooting for a spring start.

There are no guarantees that everything will run smoothly this season. There’s really no guarantee that teams will play all 10 or 11 games on the schedule. But Notre Dame, like many others, is at least getting to the starting blocks.