Notre Dame conference realignment Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Conference realignment hasn’t hit independent Notre Dame hard, but a new report suggests the Fighting Irish might be pulling some strings. writer Larry Williams reported that the Irish are rumored to be “pushing hard” for the ACC to add both Cal and Stanford.

“Am told Notre Dame, as a full voting member of the ACC, is pushing hard for the additions of Stanford and Cal. That “full voting member” part is … something,” Williams wrote.

The news stunned many who came across it on Wednesday, and probably for good reason. While conference realignment has spun everyone in about six or seven different ways, this new twist is significant. If Notre Dame, despite playing in the conference part-time, has full voting member capabilities, then that changes a lot.

The Fighting Irish and their self-interests are a major presence in college football. They are the biggest independent program in the country and can say that they play every single game on national television, even without a conference. Evidently, Notre Dame is fully aware of that power. Whether they get what they want in this realignment cycle is yet to be seen.

Cal and Stanford are both in peril as the Pac-12 meets its demise. Oregon and Washington will become members of the Big Ten in 2024, along with UCLA and USC. Colorado fled to the Big 12, and it seems the Arizona schools won’t be far behind either. Notre Dame plays Stanford annually as part of a longstanding rivalry between the two programs. So from that perspective, it does make sense that the Irish would look out for the Cardinal. The two programs might be in need of a life raft as conference realignment crushed the conference.

The CFB world reacted to the bombshell news as conference realignment took another turn. This time, Notre Dame is shockingly in the spotlight.

[Larry Williams]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022