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August 5, 2012

Ever since the silliness of Notre Dame associating/aligning themselves with the Big 12 died, there have been intermittent reports of a possible alignment of Notre Dame with the ACC.

The ACC members have been vehemently opposed to partial memberships in the past and have had the attitude of “all in” or “not in” but Swofford said today he’s not sure if that is still the case and of course, he wouldn’t say it but others already have – that subject is indeed being considered with respect to Notre Dame. So don’t be shocked if in the near future Notre Dame is an ACC member in all sports except football and has some sort of scheduling agreement to play X-number of ACC schools in football each year.

Now this one.

Speaking of ND. The Irish and the ACC continue to focus on a deal which would allow ND to play 6 games a year against ACC teams in exchange for getting full membership in the ACC in all other sports.

The sticking point would be in basketball. Putting together a schedule for a 15 team league is much tougher than doing it for a 16 team league. Talks will continue.

I’ll give you reason to panic a bit further down, but for now, take a breath.

The first thing to remember is that the primary reason ND and the ACC are talking is primarily about involving Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl as part of a possible pool of opponents. Now, I am sure that both sides have been feeling each other out. The ACC about full membership, ND about maybe moving its non-football sports into the ACC. After that, it’s all guess-work.

Those are concerning, but Paul Zeise and Mike Blaudschun have most of their ties and sources in the Big East. Yes, Blaudschun was a longtime Boston-based reporter, but as any BC person will tell you, he has long been a Big East guy.

Like the Big 12 stuff, there seems to be a lot of positioning and water testing. This time, however, I would say it is primarily coming from the Notre Dame side. I mean, the ACC has been firm on the whole all-in or not in stuff in the past. Plus, the benefits to ND would clearly be greater than any benefits to the ACC.

For Notre Dame the situation would be ideal. A 4-6 game yearly set in football would be easy in the ACC especially compared to the Big 12. They have their traditional and recently traditional foes in Pitt, Boston College, Syracuse and Miami. Then one or two games every year with the some of the other schools. That would still leave the room on ND’s schedule for USC, Navy and Stanford. Plus rotating Michigan, Michigan St., Purdue, Army, and some other teams. The scheduling accommodations would be minimal.

In addition, an alliance with the ACC presumably also means being part of their bowl alliances. ACC folk decry their tie-ins compared to the SEC, Big 10 and Big 12; but compared to the Big East it is a great lay-out and ND would love it.

Obviously the non-football sports would be in a great situation. All sports, including football, would be getting greater exposure in the Southeast. Plus there is the whole academic side of this. As much as the Big East loves to trumpet the natural fit with all the Catholic schools, ND is much more akin to the ACC academics.

What does the ACC get? Well, it gets its teams some good non-con games with a marquee opponent. The bowl tie-in with ND might open the door to better bowl offers with the extra ND carrot (let’s be blunt, Pitt and Cuse did not sweeten the pot to the bowls). At the very least it would test the proposition that ND helps for bowl tie-ins.

That’s about it on the tangible side of actual benefits to the ACC.

What are the other reasons they would consider it? Fear and hope.

Hope first. The hope is obvious. It is the same false hope that the Big East talked itself into. That if they give ND a place to park their other sports that eventually ND would be a part of the conference in football as well. That they would learn to love the Big East. Want to be a full member.

Instead, it not only made it easier for ND to stay as a football independent, it allowed their non-football sports to thrive and get exposure. There is no reason for the ACC to think that it would be any different for them.

Fear is the other reason. The fear that if they don’t do some sort of deal with ND, they will miss out on them. That they will do the partial with the Big 12, and that someday the Big 12 lands them instead — and then plucks FSU — all because they didn’t make that deal.

Our friends at BC Interruption, has the same feelings I do.

Look, I would love to have Notre Dame become part of the ACC, but on our terms, and let’s be realistic that isn’t happening. ND has a sweet media contract with NBC that they won’t be giving up soon, and unless the ACC can convince them that the new college football playoff system demands them to join a conference, I can’t imagine the Irish giving up their independence.

Having ND partially does nothing for the conference. ND won’t be on ACC television networks, the revenue won’t help the ACC all that much, and most importantly the Irish wouldn’t be completely bought into the ACC product. Please ACC if you are going to bring in ND, tell them it’s on your terms or nothing at all.

That attitude is probably the same one from Cuse, VT and Miami fans as well. All fans who have been in the Big East have seen this deal and know it doesn’t work. Fanbases elsewhere in the conference probably don’t share that view right now, or are willing to believe things could be different.

To them, they see the idea of games with ND on a semi-regular basis as enticing. The chance to up the bowl tie-ins. That, unlike the Big East which didn’t have enough to offer in football, the ACC would be different and geographically enticing. Just like the Big 12 fans who wanted to believe the rumors from last month.

My concern is that the administrations/athletic departments at Pitt, Syracuse, BC and Miami may not share their own fans’ views. To them, the partial membership worked in the Big East while they were there. They got games — and have games in the future — with ND. To tie them to the ACC could be seen as an advantage. Especially with continuing to play them in football. Afterall, it would be easier for ND to continue scheduling those schools if it was part of an agreement with the ACC to play a certain number of ACC opponents yearly.

Still both the Zeise and Blaudschun pieces aren’t enough to believe something could really happen. Even if we were to speculate that some of the ex-Big East teams in (or coming to) the ACC supported it, that doesn’t mean the ACC commissioner himself is starting to consider it.

But Swofford seemed to hedge from that stance Sunday when blitzed by reporters following the formal Q&A.

“We haven’t really asked ourselves that question recently,” he said of accepting Notre Dame sans football. “All I can tell you is that in the past, and this pretty much goes back to when Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College came into the league, our schools felt at that point in time that they were not interested in anything other than full membership with anybody.

“Has that changed? I don’t know. … The only thing I have to go on is based on those previous conversations.”

Okay, that isn’t exactly strong one way or the other, but this is a change.

Consider this Swofford remark from the ACC’s preseason basketball function just nine months ago.

“We’re an all-in, revenue-equal conference. That’s very basic to us. That’s what works for us. … I think going forward we will continue to consider equal revenue sharing and full membership or no membership (important) in our conference. I don’t see that changing.”

He wasn’t nearly as adamant Sunday.

Ummm. Could be more about negotiations. The ACC is trying to put something together with the Orange Bowl to include ND. It really doesn’t have to be viewed as a real softening.

For a real reason to be concerned, maybe one of ACC members would have to say something to indicate a crack.

Like most ACC officials, including commissioner John Swofford, Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage dismissed notions last year of Notre Dame joining the conference for all sports except football.

Much has transpired since, most significantly further conference realignment and the adoption of a four-team football playoff starting in 2014. So personal reservations about partial membership aside, Littlepage knows “this kind of discussion has to take place.”

Notre Dame, “is a powerful brand,” Littlepage said via email Wednesday. “Any conference would want to consider their potential value (all in, or partial membership).”


“What is the added value to the ACC of having [Notre Dame] sports other than football?” Littlepage continued. “Do the other … ND sports being in the ACC enhance the ACC brand and prestige to the extent that we all benefit collectively? I don’t have that answer yet.

“Finally there are a variety of financial questions about potential revenue and how it would be shared. Unequal sharing of revenues within conferences has been a facilitating factor in some of the expansion moves we’ve seen already. Needless to say, there are a number of very important topics that would have to be considered.”

Some officials believe a few years of partial ACC membership would convince Notre Dame to go all-in, but the Big East thought that, too.

“There is no question that ND is a great academic institution with a fantastic, comprehensive sports program,” Littlepage wrote. “It would take some convincing, however, for me to believe that having only a portion of ND athletics is best for the ACC at this point in time.

The worry is not that there is a deal coming. It is that they are now on the verge of being willing to consider it.

Making special deals to accomodate one school is not a good idea under any circumstance. The Big 12’s deal favoring Texas came close to destroying the conference. I realize that level playing field in conferences is always the case, but to make a “special deal” granting exceptions one member over the others, creates dissention. Pitt is leaving the Big East, a conference with unequal deals with Notre Dame and inequities between the Basketball and football schools. Let’s hope the ACC doesn’t make some of the same mistakes that the Big East did.

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 10:00 am

I understand the concerns but the landscape has changed. With the new TV contracts by the major conferences, the individual pay outs to the respective members are comparable or better than ND’s NBC deal.

The Big East was always in a volatile situation with basketball vs. football and ND sprinkled in. The Big East also allowed ND to dictate their own terms & conditions – they never had any negotiating power. ND’s football on it’s own was a greater force than the entire Big East football conference.

This would not be the case in the ACC and I believe ND could slide in rather harmlessly. ND will not be able to intimidate and dictate terms with the ease they had in the Big East. I’m sure if a deal is done, it will be a contract based offer with ND ultimately having to decide all in or nothing. The Olympic sports will play a big deal in this because only the Big East and the ACC can accommodate all of their sports. Otherwise, those sports will be spread across several conferences and devalue the football deal with NBC – because $$ will have to be redistributed throughout the athletic department.

It’s absolutely something the ACC should consider and the conference will have MUCH more influence and bargaining power than the Big East ever had. The ACC knows that ND is not interested in either the Big 10 or Big 12. The only conference it has a shot at, and the only conference ND could remain relevant in, is the ACC.

The ACC has the chips in their favor in this deal not the other way around. This isn’t a deal with the devil (in the Big East it was), it’s a deal with a spoiled brat – I’m sure there will be some headaches. Do it! A conference with the ND brand automatically becomes a bigger player.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 10:27 am

IMHO, may I respectfully suggest to the ACC leadership that until Notre Dame decides to go “all in” regarding conference affiliation, that they simply suggest to ND to genflex and pucker up so as to make it as easy as possible for them to kiss the collective a$$es of all the member schools of the ACC, until they decide to do so.

Who needs them anyhow? They rank just behind penn state on the arrogant bastards scale, so I say give them the one finger salute and send them off with best wishes to continue to enjoy their deal with the Big East.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.05.12 @ 10:33 am

Chas, very well researched and presented.

Here is my big beef … it seems that all ND needs to do right now is become bowl eligible and then they could trump any other BE team (except the title winner) for a bowl even if the 2nd place BE team had 3 or 4 more wins than ND. That is wrong.

If there is some kind of limit … say the ND can only replace an ACC team if it has 1 less win, then I can live with it since playing them every year in regular season is certainly a plus (but not an absolute necessity.)

Comment by wbb 08.05.12 @ 11:03 am


That was always my biggest problem with the Notre Dame- BE relationship. But from ND view (and he bowls), it made sense ND was FAQ more desirable and profitable name than any in the BE. But we still hated it and rightfully so?
The wild speculation that we have seen so far seems to indicate the possibility of a different agreement. With oly 3 non-con games, it would be nice to keep ND. also, ND as a brand does not hold th same huge advantage over Miami, FSU, or VT as it did over, say, UCONN, Rutgers or South Florida.

IF anything happens, it needs to be either all in or a much better deal than the BE had.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 08.05.12 @ 11:29 am

The ACC won’t allow ND to have that deal. The ACC is locked into the Orange Bowl – they are negotiating with ND as an opponent if they meet certain criteria. You don’t have to worry about them replacing any ACC teams.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 11:35 am

All in or nothing. ND adds nothing unless it is a full member. They could have saved the Big East but their greed brought down the whole conference.

Besides, they are neither in the East or on the Atlantic Coast. Let them play in the Big Ten where they belong.

Comment by gc 08.05.12 @ 11:36 am

[…] imagine the Irish giving up their …. Pittsburgh Rumors & News > … … More: Pitt Blather Permalink » Those Disturbing ACC-ND Rumors ← College Football Betting: The Point Spread – Sports – Football Spain With […]

No way this happens. No way the former BE schools allow it. Why bend over for ND when the ACC is the frontrunner to land them if they ever give up independence?

Comment by Chris 08.05.12 @ 12:04 pm

Seems that ESPN could be the key to ND joining the ACC. If they would offer a TV deal where all the ACC members receive money equal to what ND receives from NBC then it would be a win-win-win for everybody. ND could join a division with traditional rivals Pitt, Cuse, BC and Miami. Would still leave room in their schedule for their other traditional non-con rivals.

Comment by Houston Panther 08.05.12 @ 12:18 pm

No, No, No! This is one of the reasons I wanted Pitt to leave the Big East. It should be all in or not in at all! If the only way Pitt can schedule Notre Dame is to have Notre Dame join the ACC as a partial member, then I would rather not play Notre Dame. I would hope that the ACC is not that desperate of a conference to even consider such a scenario.

Comment by John In South Carolina 08.05.12 @ 12:49 pm

I hope ACC authorities do not cow down to ND and only consider ACC membership if ND football is included in the deal. It’s all or nothing as far as I’m concerned. Otherwise, let ND stay in the BE.

ND is a marque name in college sports but the ACC will thrive without ND. Pitt will be part of the ACC in 2013 and that’s all I care about. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 08.05.12 @ 1:00 pm

ND is Fools Gold!!! Be careful of “buyers remorse”.

How hypocritical of ND to abandon the “greater enterprise” called the BE or by proxy its brethren
Lest we forget one year ago

link to

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 08.05.12 @ 1:30 pm

I think you guys are missing the point. Obviously, the ACC is interested in ND… as is the Big East, Big 12 and Big 10. If College Football is moving towards four super conferences of 16 and ND is the last big catch out there, then you have to play the game a bit. ND locks in the ACC as a player for one of those 4 conferences. As dysfunctional as you think this agreement may be – it’s nothing compared to the fiasco of Texas and the Big 12. Like it or not, ND swings a big dick and has a say – they were freakin’ included in the BCS discussion and they’ve been mediocre going on 25 years. That right there shows there clout. If this is the first step in getting ND to join a conference – get it done. Pitt will reap benefits from this in the long run. Besides, a nice little rivalry on the basketball side has begun to develop – I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing that continue.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 1:44 pm

On another note, I’ve noticed an increased swell of support for the Script coming back. It’s always been there in the background but it just seems like it’s been coming up more and more.

I just read an article on the football student section trying to feed off of the Zoo’s success with naming the student section. While I’m cool with the student section name – The Pitt – they should consider The Script. Alumni haven’t had much sway on this matter, but maybe the students would.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 1:51 pm

All of you sadly mistaken. Notre Dame is above all that. Don’t you remember their athletic director Jack Swarbrick’s comments about Syracuse and Pitt being selfish in leaving ghe Big East? I’m sure Notre Dame will be loyal to the end!

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 2:28 pm

What was he supposed to say? Pitt and ‘cuse forced his hand and are the reason ND is even in play right now for the ACC. PITT fans have strong emotions towards ND because of the BE. Take emotions out and ND is the piece of the puzzle the ACC is missing. Pitt knows this too and is the reason that rivalry has taken precedence over WVU or even PSU for that matter. Despite ND’s lack of success on the field they have clout and are a big fish. Get them however you can.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 2:39 pm

Tossing, I’m happy to see them using “Pitt” again! Pederson’s “Pittsburgh” was a slap in the face to the alumni and to all the fans. For years EVERYONE refrered to the university as Pitt. It was part of the school’s historic idenity. It bothers me now when I watch ESPN and they refer to Pittsburgh every time they report a score.

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 2:45 pm

In no way will ND not join any conference but the B10 if and when it is time for them to become a full time member.

The B10 has a larger TV agreement, better bowls, and of course requires less travel for ND than any other conference. It also has 3 of the 4 teams of ND’s most cherished rivals.

Comment by wbb 08.05.12 @ 2:45 pm

What was he supposed to say? I would suggest something other then being a hypocrite. It’s a bit much, to criticize other programs for doing the same things as you. Pitt and Syracuse were doing what was best for their universities. Should they make their decisions based on what’s best for Notre Dame? I don’t recall Notre Dame doing anything to save the conference. They could have saved the Big East anytime they wanted by bringing in their football. In the words of Abe Lincoln, “Sometimes it’s better to remain silent and appear foolish, then to speak and remove all doubt.”

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 3:00 pm

Wbb, it’s about fit. ND has no interest in the Big 10 because ND considers itself a national school and the midwest
does not have many desirable markets. Besides Chicago, which ND already delivers, name a market that caters to ND’s target audience….Cleveland? Detroit? Minneapolis? Indianapolis? all nice markets but not areas ND’ers are entrenched in.

Justonian…I’m fine and happy with “Pitt” as well. I just offered The Script as an alternative to create a movement towards getting the Script back. I was just saying if people are serious about bringing it back something like that could be the ground swell a grassroots movement needs.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 3:02 pm

College football is all about hypocrisy…Pitt is even pulling the same excuse psu has for years on wvu as a reason not to play them. It’s about money and entertainment and to think Pitt is above this is naive. It’s a business and if you take emotions out of it ND is the best move. The quicker college football gets to the 16 team, 4 conferences model it’s trending towards the better. Once ND is landed all the other chips fall into place and some stability will return to the sport we all love.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 3:12 pm

Tossing, you present a pretty good argument for ND not joining the B10 and hopefully you are right … but I will believe that ND will become a full time member with any conference other thn the B10 when it actually happens. ND alums have the biggest presence in Chicago and NYC, and not necessarily in the southeast

Comment by wbb 08.05.12 @ 3:34 pm

Wbb, that’s the missing piece for the ACC and the reason either UCONN or Rutgers will be the 16TH team. if the Big Ten lands ND, Rutgers would be there pick. The problem for the Big 10, is that the ACC has the same play plus a more logical fit for the Olympic sports.

Here’s the deal…There are segments of Pitt’s fanbase who don’t want to play ND, WVU or PSU when playing any or all of them would benefit Pitt. All the have cons but the pros far outweigh them. Would you rather play ND as conference game or a non-con? Conference is the obvious answer because it locks in the rivalry plus opens up the schedule. the Pitt administration obviously values this partnership so the ACC bringing them on board makes sense for Pitt. They really are the last piece of the puzzle so the ACC should absolutely try and wine and fine dine them.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 3:48 pm

Like it or not Notre Dame puts alot of fannies in Heinz Field- I always enjoy going to the Pitt/Notre Dame game and do not get caught up in the politics of why. As I said before, no one and I mean no one knew that Pitt was heading to the ACC before the announcement so who knows what goes on behind closed doors. Let’s enjoy Ptt football and let others handle the alignment issue!

Comment by BFoss 08.05.12 @ 4:34 pm

I hate ND they are on my list right after penn state and WVU but it makes sense to have them in the ACC but only if they play 6 games a year against ACC teams.
then when it is time to go to 16 teams they will come on board were there BB and outher spoets are

and this comes from one who hates them.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.05.12 @ 4:41 pm

I know this is a football post but i just want to say thet now that Mike Young is on board the PF
that we needed every thing else is gravy.

be it more PF or SG or SF once you have what you need the rest is gravy.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.05.12 @ 4:57 pm

ND joining the ACC will primarily help them recruit in the Southeast and maintain their presence in the Northeast areas. They gain none of that by joining the B10. And this whole more $$ championship bowl stuff will only last until some first round stud gets injured – then the players will start questioning if playing a couple more games is worth it.

Comment by Joe 08.05.12 @ 5:10 pm

Let’s be blunt, fuck off Notre Dame

Comment by Tony C 08.05.12 @ 5:34 pm

Actually, ever since Dorsett blew by the Irish in the tall grass they’ve been sniffing Pitt so closely we dare not stop short.

Comment by steve1 08.05.12 @ 5:35 pm

They will never join a football conference. Period.

Comment by Tony C 08.05.12 @ 5:36 pm

I realize that Notre Dame has a big following and puts a lot of fannies in Heinz Field. For that matter so does WVU. Heck Penn State packed “Three Rivers” when they used come here as well. Notre Dame has an enormous national following. They draw attention from the Bowls even they are barely bowl eligible. I understand all of that, I just don’t like them recieving special treatment.

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 5:40 pm

They will because at some point no one will let them park their other sports … and that is when the brand begins to be tarnished. when that happens they’ll stop getting invited to sit at the adult table. It’s coming, slowly but surely.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 5:42 pm

Actually they have a standing non-football sports invite from the Big 12. They will be fine without a football conference. They have a contract to get every home game on their own national network. Special BCS and bowl priviliges. The Big 12 and ACC are enablers just like the Big Least. The Big Ten is the only conference who can see past the BS.

Comment by Tony C 08.05.12 @ 5:57 pm

The Big 12 is dangling that for the same reason the ACC would consider it … to get them to join full time. At some point that hospitality will not be there…the landscape of college football is changing not only drastically but quickly. They don’t want to end up in the Big 12 so it won’t even get that far. Alumni would revolt if that happened.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 6:09 pm

Tossing, Yes when a conference is in a position of weakness they can make bad decisions. The Big East thought that by providing place for their other sports that Notre Dame would develop rivalries and it could lead to full membership. That didn’t happen. They recieved all the benefis of being in the conference and it kept them close contact with alumni in many of the north eastern cities. If they want to remain an independant in football, I think they should stay in the Big East.

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 6:42 pm

agree with everything Tony C said.

Comment by frankarms 08.05.12 @ 6:46 pm

I know this isn’t about Pitt, but what a bonehead decision on Olympic coverage to show us the equestrian events this afternoon, rather than show the 100 Yard dash live! I wonder what idiot made that call? I guess it’s ok if you’re the Prince of Monaco or a royal, but for us common folk, it’s not very on the TV agenda.

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 7:01 pm

don’t get me wrong – I would wholeheartedly welcome ND into the ACC as a FULL member — I just have my doubts about their FB commitment if and when that time comes

Justinian — it’s all about primetime and adverstising dollars

Comment by wbb 08.05.12 @ 7:31 pm

wbb, Yes,of course comments are correct and you’re right on the money.

Please pardon the pun.

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 8:03 pm

The Big East didn’t have any power in the situation. The Big East never thought they’d join – ND told them from the beginning they wouldn’t. ND helped them negotiate Bowl games and with scheduling. People upset that ND led the Big East on don’t know the entire story. ND needed a place for their other sports and the Big East needed some negotiating power for football. That was it…no promises. Why would they join the Big East?

The ACC is in a different situation. They don’t need ND. They want them but there is a big difference. Plus the money that ND gets for it’s TV deal is almost the same as individual conference members get. Plus ND coming to the ACC would increase their current TV deal.

ND is risking being left out in the cold by staying independent. With the playoff coming, there may not be room for a ND in the future.

wbb, I agree and I’m sure that if they did join the ACC there would be a termination clause that if they didn’t become a full member by said date then they would be on their own.

It’s all speculation and we don’t even know if any talks have taken place. I’m just saying that if getting ND in the fold is an option, they should jump at the chance. There’s a reason that the Big 12 and Big 10 want them – they are a revenue producer and it’s all about the money. Just ask Florida St.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 8:06 pm

Penn state just lost 2 more a WR commit to ND
and WR brown.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.05.12 @ 8:25 pm

My point is they’re not going to join a football conference. If the ACC and Big 12 tell them to join full or get lost they will go back to the Big East or Atlantic 10. They will always have a home and football independence because of special privileges

Comment by Tony C 08.05.12 @ 8:26 pm

Obviously I would like to see ND enter the ACC as a full member immediately(as Tossing said if we had ND as a conf. game rather than as a non-con it frees up one of the non-cons to perhaps play WVU, PSU(yuck) or some other name program) However if you look at this from ND’s perspective, they would have 9 conf. games and ONLY 3 non-con. Meaning of their yearly games against Michigan, Purdue, Michigan State, USC & Navy, who gets jettisoned ? Whoever does would infuriate certain segments of the ND Alumni base.

Because some of those long standing traditional rivals would be replaced with new, non-traditional games against Clemson or Wake Forest or NC State.

The alumi wouldn’t like that forced down their throat, all at once. So what do you do? You do what’s been done in the shaping of America, the last 30-40 years, you do it in increments.

First you play 6 ACC teams a year, of which some are your long-standing rivals (like Pitt) and others are more recent rivals (like BC, Cuse & Miami), which hardly makes it appear like anything is amiss with the traditionalists in South Bend.
Add in a couple crowd pleasers like Florida State and Va Tech and who could complain about.

After several seasons of this, the alumni at ND have now been conditioned a little, they’ve traveled down South on road games, realize it isn’t the South of the past, they feel more comfortable with the whole thing. Perhaps ND got to play in the Orange Bowl against the ACC champion and truly enjoyed all that is Miami and the whole experience of it.

At that point adding 3 more conf games to ND’s schedule is not nearly the mountain it was, if it ALL had to be done at once. After visiting some beautiful campuses in the South and enjoying the gorgious fall days at places like Chapel Hill and Charlottesville, now it doesn’t seem as bad if they don’t play Purdue or Navy or Mich State every year. (my guess is they would keep USC & Michigan on the schedule regardless)

So maybe just maybe this is how Swofford and the ACC power ppl and the ND ppl see this. You bring them in gradually. Sure it would be great if you could just bring ND in all at once.

But ND is a special case (like a special date) and sometimes(most times) a special date deserves special treatment. I would just hope that the ACC ppl, have a similar type plan of bringing them into the conference gradually(if All at once is Out of the Question) and that it’s written into the agreement with ND. And that it all ends in the same result. Full membership !

Comment by Emel 08.05.12 @ 8:32 pm

ND as a potential “opponent” in the Orange bowl is a great win-win for the ACC and ND…But PLEASE ACC no special conference membership deals for ND! To do so says they are more important than any other conference member. The only area that is true is in football, and then only from a branding perspective. Why let ND mooch off of the rest of our sports, when they don’t want to let us have the benefit of their FB brand?

Comment by HbgFrank 08.05.12 @ 8:39 pm

@Frankcan, hey buddy that makes about 10 ex Ped-Staters in a week. Maybe that 4 star O-lineman from Belle Vernon we lost to them will reconsider, cause HE’LL NEVER PLAY IN A BOWL GAME. And would have to be leery of taking showers in Creepy Valley to boot.

Hope ur having a good summer Frank !!

Comment by Emel 08.05.12 @ 8:40 pm

Emel, we don’t always agree but I couldn’t agree more with what you just wrote. Well said and my point exactly. People get hung up on the special treatment aspect but ND is college football royalty and a national draw. Why else is a program that hasn’t been successful in 20 years still sitting at the BCS table and it’s own television contract. Wine and dine.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 8:45 pm

I remember walking up Cardiac Hill with my father for Notre Dame, Navy, and Penn State games in the 1960s when John Michaelolsen was the Pitt coach. We have a very long tradition of playing Notre Dame which dates back to when Jock Southerland and Knute Rockne were coaching. The same could be said about playing Navy. It would be nice to see those games continue.

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 8:47 pm

Before Pitt jumped ship, I was all for Navy coming into the Big East. I don’t think it’s possible to keep that one though…especially with the big east in their ears now.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.05.12 @ 8:53 pm

Interesting arguments on both sides, but I’ll have to admit I’m not sure why I’m supposed to “panic.”

Comment by BATR 08.05.12 @ 9:04 pm

Well there will be football regardless of what Notre Dame decides to do. However eventually they have to either shit, or get off the pot.

Comment by Justinian 08.05.12 @ 9:14 pm

The problem wirh ND comes when we start to see bowl affiliations like “ACC No. 2 or ND” if ND has a certain record. That is the part of the deal that is just plain BS. They just don’t deserve it.

Comment by HbgFrank 08.05.12 @ 10:10 pm

A basic question…How long is ND’s contract with NBC?

Comment by isnore 08.05.12 @ 10:24 pm

EMel good summer how abought you stock up on booze
becuse it is tino time very soon.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.05.12 @ 10:32 pm

What we need is for ESPN to get greedy again and steal Notre Dame from NBC. Let’s face it, the public opinion is pretty gullible. If ESPN wants something then they can pretty much get it at this point. That is how you sway the Irish fans’ opinion of their school and make their team sound like a total would-be rockstar in the ACC. ESPN is always covering them anyway so I’m sure Irish fans already appreciate ESPN for making Notre Dame sound like an elite school (if not that but probably just giving them as much attention as they have because ND hasn’t done squat this past decade). So take that bias and help reel Notre Dame into the ACC, ESPN’s baby.

Comment by Timmeh 08.05.12 @ 10:48 pm

Don’t the 5 major conferences all have plans to play 9 conf games each season? Would seem that ND will eventually get boxed out of finding quality opponents to play com Oct. Combine that with the Conf Championship games and it would seem to present a real challenge for the Irish.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 08.05.12 @ 11:59 pm

Timmeh, I would rather that NBC expands it college football coverage than for ESPN to get ND back. How mnay times if the past years has ESPN televised (in men’s basketball) Duke vs the likes of St Francis in lieu of more attractive matchups beig played elsewhere?

Comment by wbb 08.06.12 @ 8:36 am

The brass at ND prefers joining the ACC for all sports, believe me. They will not go to the Big10 because they would not be the big fish in that pond as Michigan and OSU have and always will be the number 1 and 1A schools. That is also why PSU erred by joining that conference.

That said, ND will not negotiate from a position of weakness and as such, they need to continue to puff out their chests in an effort to get the best deal. Unfortunately for them NBC realizes that since 1991, ND has been a combined 161-94-2. Of that, the 1991 thru 1993 record was 31-5-1. Do the math since 1994 to present and their record is a very average 130-89-1. ND is not in a position of strength yet they continue to act as if they are. Those are the facts, but the perception of a yearly powerhouse continues.

ND had the power when there were only four major television network carrying college football games in the late 80’s early 90’s, plus they were a great team. The landscape has changed so drastically with cable and conference tv networks, that the ND games are losing their attractiveness and viewership, which goes to the crux of the problem. Add to that, a mediocre program with wins and losses and you have a problem.

When the new tv contract gets done, ND and whichever conference they decide to have an association with, will look like this. ND home game vs. opponent on NBC. Conference affiliation games go to the NBC network “Versus”. No added exposure for the conference affiliate members, although they will get some sort of money share “for playing nicely”. The ACC can’t be that conference due to the ESPN affiliation which competes with NBC.

A recent straw vote from ND BOT’s, favors ACC for full membership. They also want to win championships and to do that, conference affiliation is a requirement. The ND braintrust understands dropping viewership and an average product on the field for 20 years. Not coincidentally, they haven’t played for a championship since crafting their own deal. They also don’t want to play third fiddle to Michigan and OSU and for those reasons, ND will say that they have a perfect fit with the ACC academically and from the olympic sport perspective. Will it happen in two years, no. I do expect ND to move within 5 years.

Finally, ND cannot get any bigger financially using the current format and if you are not getting bigger, you are getting smaller. That is a bad sign for ND.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 08.06.12 @ 11:26 am

I can tell you one thing, I have no interest in watching the Orange Bowl if it is a rematch of an ACC team vs. ND (from the regular season). Can’t imagine the rest of the country, outside of ND fans, would be interested either- now that’s BAD business.

Comment by Get the Glory 08.06.12 @ 3:14 pm

@Get the Glory.

What if that Orange Bowl rematch was PITT vs ND?

Being a loyal future member of the ACC I would watch the Orange Bowl regardless. I just wish they would keep it on New Year’s Day night which was ALWAYS the Orange Bowl’s time slot, back in the day. When things were normal. haha

Comment by Emel 08.06.12 @ 3:48 pm


Is there ever enough booze for Tiny(o) Time ?
Just asking ?


Comment by Emel 08.06.12 @ 3:49 pm

@Tossing Thabeets.

Appreciate that thought, and yes you are allowed to agree with me, lol It shows you have mental acumen.

Comment by Emel 08.06.12 @ 3:51 pm

No way to partial membership for ND. What’s in it for the ACC? Two extra football games? ND is playing four ACC schools this year.

ND will not be joining a conference for football anytime soon.

So all this speculation is interesting but nothing is going to come of it.

Heading to South Bend on 11/3. Had to book rooms in Mishawaka, all hotels are full already. ND is the best game on our schedule this year!

Comment by Boubacar Aw 08.06.12 @ 5:04 pm

VA Tech is the best game on the schedule this year.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 08.06.12 @ 7:00 pm

“For Notre Dame the situation would be ideal. A 4-6 game yearly set in football would be easy in the ACC especially compared to the Big 12.”

Curious what was meant by that comment. I’m hoping the intention was to imply that it would be logistically easier to schedule east coast ACC schools as opposed to teams from the Great Plains. That I agree with. However, I totally disagree that Notre Dame’s ACC slate of games would be easier than the Big 12’s slate of games over the long-run. Maybe in the next few years, yea. But, do people realize that this stuff is cyclical. Can anyone point to any evidence, any at all, that would suggest that the following teams: Oklahoma State, TCU, Kansas State, West Virginia, and Baylor are going to be anything more than mediocre over the long run? People dont realize that the Big 12 has 5 “also-ran” programs that are going through “glory days” right now. That stuff CANNOT continue. These schools cannot maintain this level of play over the long-term. Not all at once. 5 years from now, please tell me why Maryland (Under Armour money) cant be better than Oklahoma State? Why cant BC be better than Baylor? Pitt better than WVU? NC State better than Kansas State? GT better than TCU? Man do people view have short-sighted views. The ACC is the better overall football conference. Just not right at this moment.

Comment by SMF 08.07.12 @ 2:07 pm

its been over a month since ACC and Orange Bowl agreed…and as long since Notre Dame was at ACC to discuss Orange Bowl?; partial membership?; full membership? Why have talks gone silent? Also seems as if no other conference is jumping to play in Orange Bowl except BE–is there something being decided by ND and ACC? If not, is ACC in trouble as a major conference.

Comment by steven 08.13.12 @ 1:35 pm

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