While it doesn’t necessarily impact what we do here at Crystal Ball Run, a long-held rumor was confirmed this morning by ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy:
Notre Dame is headed to the ACC!!!
Well, not in football, per se, where they’ll remain independent.
But in all other sports… Notre Dame is headed for Tobacco Road!!
Can you feel the excitement?
We thought so.
This is straight from McMurphy’s Twitter feed:
Notre Dame will join ACC as full member w/exception of football. ND will play 5 football games annually vs. ACC, sources told @espn
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 12, 2012
So there you have it.
What has been a long-standing on-again, off-again rumor, is apparently no longer rumor, but now just official. According to the McMurphy, the school will leave the Big East after their 27-month contractual obligation finishes, putting them in the ACC no later than the fall of 2015. However, like West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse before them, the school could try to get out of the contract sooner.
Like we said, this has little impact on what we do here at Crystal Ball Run, where football will basically operate as it has been for years.
If anything, it’s the fans of other sports who’ll suffer.
As we’ve seen in college football realignment, everyone that’s anyone seems in a hurry to disassociate themselves with the Big East, even Notre Dame, which doesn’t even play football in the conference. Still with the profile of the conferences other sports shrinking with the departure of Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia, apparently the Irish thought it was time to seek a different option for their basketball programs and other non-revenue sports too. They’ll take with them traditionally strong programs in men’s basketball, baseball and a handful of other sports.
But for football, the move changes little, and if anything, only could prove beneficial in the long run for both the school and college football fans.
Regardless of their conference affiliation in other sports, Notre Dame will remain status quo as an independent in football. That means they’ll still play all their home games on NBC (at least until the 2015 season when their current TV deal comes up) and will still play a national schedule that will include games with long-time rivals like Michigan and USC. Add in the occasional match-up with an ACC foe like Miami, Florida State or Virginia Tech and if anything, this move actually could be a good thing for the sport of college football. After all, no one has ever complained about more marquee games, between more marquee teams (although admittedly, that Notre Dame-Duke tilt in mid-November might not be a ratings bonanza either).
Apparently at least, Notre Dame thinks it’s a good thing for their school.
They’ll have a new home for most of their sports teams within a few years.
For all his opinion, analysis and insight on the world of college football and beyond, follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.