So Notre Dame is moving to the ACC….sorta. The Fighting Irish have announced they will be moving to the ACC in all sports, except football. Shocker. Please note the dripping sarcasm. Good for the ACC? Okay, it adds a big name to the conference. Even though Notre Dame football hasn’t been competitively relevant for years, it’s still a big name. Also the exit fee for schools is now reportedly $50 million. So the ACC doesn’t have to worry about a Florida State leaving or a Miami or Virginia Tech, etc. For Notre Dame? They keep their TV deal with NBC, keep their rivalries with USC, Stanford, and Navy. With this agreement, they must play five ACC teams each season. By the time this contract kicks in (2014 at the earliest) Pitt and Syracuse, two teams that are regularly on Notre Dame’s schedule, will already be in the ACC. Plus, Notre Dame plays Boston College on a regular basis, and occasionally face Florida State, Miami, and North Carolina. So not much of a huge sacrifice for them there. The kicker is that the Irish will have access to the Orange Bowl and non-BCS bowl tie-ins. They also get an equal share of the ACC’s TV money, plus what they get from NBC for football. It’s for this reason, you’ve got to credit Notre Dame for getting what they want-“part” of a conference while remaining an independent in football.
People are ripping the Big Ten for not getting Notre Dame to join. Look, is Jim Delaney a dope? Yes. But give the Big Ten credit in not caving in to Notre Dame. Either they’re either in the conference with both feet in or not at all. Does Notre Dame make the ACC a better basketball conference or baseball? Who cares? They’re playing “conference” foes without jeopardizing their chances of being part of the four-team playoff or being in a BCS bowl. Kudos to the Big Ten for not caving in to Notre Dame’s arrogance and selfishness. So when all is said and done, it’s the same thing for Notre Dame. Just instead of playing in the Big East Tournament in March, they’ll play in the ACC Tournament.