Notre Dame to the ACC, but not in football? It’s still a big deal

ACC commish John Swofford: He's earning his money, you'd have to say. (AP photo)

ACC commish John Swofford: The man is earning his money, you'd have to say. (AP photo)

Well, it’s official. The ACC is bigger than the SEC.

OK, only by a margin of one. But you’d have to admit: In college football, Notre Dame is a pretty big one.

OK, so there’s an asterisk, and a pretty big one to boot: Notre Dame is joining the ACC in every conference sport except football. But the Irish have committed to playing five football games every season against ACC opposition, and that can’t help but heighten the profile of a league that, at least in football, could stand some heightening.

And you’ve have to think that Notre Dame agreeing to play five games against the ACC only clears the path for the Irish to commit to playing a full conference slate someday soon. (There are press conferences scheduled for later in the day, so maybe we’ll know more then.) As they say in England, and perhaps in Ireland: In for a penny, in for a pound.

Back in a bit with more. And before you get all a-dither: No, I do NOT think this means the ACC has become a better football league than the SEC. But I do think this is another good step by John Swofford and his crew, and it wasn’t so long ago that we wondered if Swofford’s league had any credibility left.

(Here, as threatened, is the longer take on Notre Dame and the ACC.)

By Mark Bradley

335 comments Add your comment

Frank Lane

September 12th, 2012
11:11 am

Not big deal to me. Who cares”

Kevin

September 12th, 2012
11:12 am

As a UConn grad this just sucks with the Big East brand taking another body blow. Really thought the Huskies would be the next ones into the ACC but I guess not.

Ace

September 12th, 2012
11:19 am

UConn and Rutgers will step into the Octagon to fight for the final slot in the 16. Consolation prize to the loser is the Big 10.

Wes Mantooth

September 12th, 2012
11:20 am

GT Grad

September 12th, 2012
11:21 am

I definitely like getting ND but I had the half in. I mean I thought we were all or nothing. I hope there is some kind of stipulation like if we get a 16th school they join all in.

GT Grad

September 12th, 2012
11:21 am

Sorry hate not had the half in

jj

September 12th, 2012
11:23 am

So this Notre Dame you speak of, they play COLLEGE football? Are you sure?

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 12th, 2012
11:23 am

Always enjoyed GT playing ND. This exciting for the ACC and for ND.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 12th, 2012
11:24 am

Benjamin

September 12th, 2012
11:25 am

Better than SEC football? Agreed with you, it doesn’t mean that.

But it certainly does, as you mentioned, mean that the ACC profile is certainly rising. An indirect benefit to this, for the conference, is that those five games a year will be played on national television through ND’s NBC contract. Adding a storied program like Notre Dame to the fold for at least five Saturdays a year and giving the conference more national exposure is, as you put it, a win for Swofford and the conference.

Habersham Dawg

September 12th, 2012
11:25 am

This is a great move by the ACC. Notre Dame brings an established football tradition and I believe they will eventually be included in football as well as the other ACC sports. Congrats ACC.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 12th, 2012
11:26 am

Would love to see UConn follow.

Big Crimson 75

September 12th, 2012
11:29 am

Good to see ND found a conference weak/dumb enough to accept this Deal!
We’re all in — well, except for the sport that matters.
The ACC look like fools.

Silly Bloggers

September 12th, 2012
11:29 am

Mark…I disagree. I think this is more pomp than circumstance. If ND made a full commitment, it would be a great boon for the ACC. As far as eventually working out to a full slate of games…that didn’t work out for the Big East. Essentially, ND is strutting more than Texas. ND gets the revenue sharing of a conference for basketball, keeps their Independent status for football, likely gets a nice slice of the football television rights, etc. I think the only way ND commits to a full slate of games is if college football gives a huge advantage to conference winners at the expense of independents.

At the end of the day, it sets a very bad precedent for any future teams of substance joining. It may ultimately turn-off schools such as FSU, Miami, and Clemson.

Moobs Johnson

September 12th, 2012
11:30 am

Desperate move by both parties seeking to remain relevant in the CFB world. Ask the Big East how much having Notre Dame in all sports but football worked out for them.

Gordon

September 12th, 2012
11:32 am

The NBC contract expires in 2015. Expect ND and maybe Navy to join full time after that. ACC will have north and south divisions after that.

Whose great idea was this?

September 12th, 2012
11:32 am

It is only a matter of a couple of years before they are “full” members, with, as others have already said, UConn being the 16th school member (they are just waiting for Jim Calhoun to disappear so that his slime does not taint the league)…

SimpleDawg

September 12th, 2012
11:33 am

Further evidence of The Domers’ fall from prominence….. The Big 10 plus 2 would be their natural fit, but instead ND looks for low hanging fruit. Easier pickings in the ACC for football. Basketball will gain from ACC membership.

Shameful developments…..

Bryan G.

September 12th, 2012
11:33 am

I remember reading that Notre Dame used to be good at football. I’m not that old, so can someone confirm that for me??

Bammer

September 12th, 2012
11:33 am

Silly Bloggers is correct. This is nearly to the deal they’ve had with the Big East for a good while now and it didn’t achieve anything either.

Benjamin

September 12th, 2012
11:33 am

Moobs, how is it desperate from either end?

The ACC isn’t the SEC when it comes to football, but they’ve got several teams that are competitive on the national level, as well. Adding Notre Dame is just a bump in profile, not an act of desperation.

And as for Notre Dame, they’re back on the rise. Getting the opportunity to play stronger football programs than an independent schedule would allow with the way the conferences are aligning is a win-win for them, too. Notre Dame is not even remotely “desperate” when it comes to football – they make more revenue off that program alone than many colleges in the nation make cumulatively off all their sports programs combined.

AtlantaDude

September 12th, 2012
11:34 am

Which coast is Indiana on?

Gordon

September 12th, 2012
11:35 am

Another big point about this is that the exit fee in the ACC is now 3 times the average operating budget, which translates to over $50M. It will be much more difficult to poach an ACC school now.

AzCat

September 12th, 2012
11:35 am

What Moobs said….

dawgfan

September 12th, 2012
11:36 am

I haven’t paid attention to Notre Dame football in years. I’m an SEC guy and I tend to only follow the top 25 teams from other conferences. If I’m feeling nostalgic or have just watched Rudy I might turn on a Notre Dame game but otherwise I have very little interest in their program. I can only assume they’re up to their usual ways of losing bowl games and getting pounded by the 2 or 3 good teams that they play every year. Would that be accurate?

Mike Geigerman

September 12th, 2012
11:37 am

FSU, Miami, GT , Clemson and Va Tech only.. for football.. Home and away

AzCat

September 12th, 2012
11:39 am

@Benjamin: Take a look at ND’s independent schedule for this year and then tell me how it’s going to be upgraded by taking on five ACC schools? Even if they cherry pick, which ND is smart enough not to do, five ACC schools is a push, and I’m being generous with the push.

Habersham Dawg

September 12th, 2012
11:39 am

I will buy a ticket when Notre Dame play Georgia Tech in Atlanta, just so I can shout “Rudy, Who!”. I hate that movie, I want to see the film of him playing against Georgia Tech. Us Dawgs can poke you Techies, but by Gawd, nobody else better do it.

Rudy is Fiction.

Time

September 12th, 2012
11:39 am

25 years ago, this would have been a big deal. Now, it’s just another 3rd tier program joining a 3rd tier conference. Yawn.

George Zimmerman

September 12th, 2012
11:40 am

Notre Dame should get 0 BCS special consideration when it comes to playing in a BCS Bowl or playoff; it should be strictly on their ranking. Now let me take off my ND hoodie.

Grimace

September 12th, 2012
11:40 am

RUDY…RUDY….RUDY…RUDY

don

September 12th, 2012
11:40 am

Notre Dame, Notre Dame, what is so great about Notre Dame. Why are they treated so special. Either join the ACC or don’t. Why is it a partial entry? Why are they ranked # 20? If they win this weekend they will be #1!!!!! I am so sick of the over ranked,pompous,holier than thou team and its’ alum. I am sick of their crap! Yes, I hate Notre Dame, always have, alway will.

The Bear

September 12th, 2012
11:42 am

Who really cares? You join a conference or not. Don’t cherry pick what you are going to be a part of.

The Ugly Truth

September 12th, 2012
11:42 am

Well there goes the Notre Dame football program.

Look at what happened to FSU and Miami.

The ACC could drag down the New York Giants with their mediocrity.

Al

September 12th, 2012
11:42 am

Looks like the ACC just got weaker.

JacketFanMarcus

September 12th, 2012
11:42 am

Ho-hum.

These leagues are getting too big and spread out. I keep forgetting that Boston College is in the ACC.

Now we gonna have teams in Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania soon. That’s too far away to build up any natural rivalries

.

Silly Bloggers

September 12th, 2012
11:42 am

SimpleDawg…I don’t think it is the level of comeptition that kept them from the Big 10. I never imagined saying it, but I believe the ACC may have actually passed up the Big 10 in football (for the time being). If the Big 10 had offered the same sweetheart deal, ND would have taken it. This deal just reeks of favortism.

The only way I see this working out…and it will be a long, long while…is if the playoff moves to 8 teams with six automtic qualifiers from major conferences. The issues with this are…will it happen, when will it happen, and will the ACC even resember the league that it does now? Add to that, if the ACC wants to further expand, they can’t. You need another two teams to join to give you 16. You can’t consider ND a “15th” team at this point.

Think about it…16 teams in two 8 team divisions. You have 7 division games, two dedicated counter-division games, one traditional rivalry…which leads to two open game dates. Now, if five teams play ND, does that count as a conference game? It can’t. There are just so many obstacles and limitations set for any future expansion with the ACC now. I get a headache even thinking about it. While I don’t know what exactly to expect, I see some significant backlash to this not too far down the road.

DS CE'91

September 12th, 2012
11:43 am

As a Tech alum, not on board with this at all. I know its all about the $, but having at least the perception of equality is also paramount (ask the Big 12). The ACC will regret this.

hotrod

September 12th, 2012
11:43 am

what five schools are they playing? the good ones or the weak ones, step up and play clemson, va tech every year

hotrod

September 12th, 2012
11:45 am

probably wake, nc, nc state, maryland, weak football, come get some in Athens, then we will talk!!

Moobs Johnson

September 12th, 2012
11:47 am

The ACC already has Duke, which competes in all sports but football. Why does it need Notre Dame?

Vulture

September 12th, 2012
11:47 am

“Us Dawgs can poke you Techies, but by Gawd, nobody else better do it.”
I like that! It’s hard to argue that it is not better for the ACC to add ND than another conference. Going to be interesting what happens next.

jim 70

September 12th, 2012
11:48 am

a year ago i said it would be great if ND and PSU joined the ACC, makes it a dominate football conference. However with the problems at PSU, would have been a bad idea.

we need another school, but not uconn/rutgers – get a dominate team.

great to have two divisions – VT, UMd, BC, Syr, Pitt, ND, VA, Other as the north, others as south.

Silly Bloggers

September 12th, 2012
11:49 am

DS CE…you just concisely summed up what I was trying to get across in three paragraphs…favortism does not work out. The Big 12 says they are stronger than ever, but I find that hard to believe. The conference almost dissolved twice in two years due to Texas.

Reggie's Balls

September 12th, 2012
11:51 am

I love how all of the UGA and SEC fans come on this blog talking trash. They play in a conference of jailbird thugged out low class scum and now that class is joining class they can’t handle it. The realization is that the ACC gets the scholar athletes and the SEC gets the trash. You need to spend less time blogging and more time at the Athens Clarke County jail seeing which dog needs to be bailed out before this weekends game.

Pitbull

September 12th, 2012
11:51 am

Notre Dame joining the ACC is like Warreb Buffett moving to Jonesboro.

It just doesn’t make any sense.

H

September 12th, 2012
11:52 am

I hope this isn’t the same stupid deal they had with the Big East…giving them priority bowl slots even when they stink. Their relevance has been shrinking for years. Whats the point?

Big Dog 89

September 12th, 2012
11:55 am

The ACC is a complete joke. There may be two teams in the ACC that could compete with Vandy.

ND who?

September 12th, 2012
11:56 am

It’s rediculous that Conferences still fall all over themselves for ND. Why should they be able to have special priviledges in College Football that the other schools don’t?

ND has not been relevant in football for years; maybe decades. Make them join for football or they shold be left in the cold.

Let's Laugh

September 12th, 2012
11:56 am

How is Notre Dame a boost to the ACC???. They have not be relevant in football in 24 years (1988 NC) cept maybe in Tyyyroonnne Willingham’s mind (he was quoted as saying “he never had a bad day”).

NC’s (1936-present)

Bama (9) 1961, 1964, 1965 (AP), 1973 (Coaches), 1978 (AP), 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011
Irish (8) 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973 (AP), 1977, 1988

GA (1) 1980……ha, ha, ha. Hershel was the man though.