Notre Dame, Sans Football, to the ACC

golden dome acc
Notre Dame made headlines on Wednesday by announcing it would be joining the ACC for all sports other than football and hockey while making a commitment to play 5 ACC opponents a year in football. (Photo - Matt Cashore / USPRESSWIRE)

I go away for work for one day and Notre Dame decides to shake up the college sports world by announcing they will be joining the ACC for all sports other than football and hockey starting as early as 2014.

Before we get into any analysis or quotes from University officials, lets get the details out of the way.  With this new agreement with the ACC, Notre Dame will leave the Big East and become a member of the ACC in all sports other than football, which will remain independent, and hockey, which the ACC does not have.

Additionally, Notre Dame has agreed to play 5 ACC opponents every year while playing each member school at least once every three years.  In return for essentially having a mini conference schedule every year, Notre Dame will now become a part of the ACC Non-BCS Bowl package vastly improving Notre Dame’s bowl options on a yearly basis.

So, in summary, Notre Dame is essentially trading the Big East for the ACC while making a greater commitment to ACC football than they ever made to Big East football in exchange for access to the non-BCS ACC bowl tie-ins.  Not a bad deal at the end of the day for the Irish.

Notre Dame had been a member of the Big East since 1995 for most sports – the main exceptions being football and hockey – but recent changes in the conference alignment have made the ACC a more attractive option.   “We have monitored the changing conference landscape for many months and have concluded that moving to the ACC is the best course of action for us,” said Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick. “This will enable us to maintain our historic independence in football, join in the ACC’s non-BCS bowl package, and provide a new and extremely competitive home for our other sports.”

Since Notre Dame joined the Big East for most sports in ’95, the conference has undergone a radical transformation.  While the conference has lost almost every football powerhouse program over the years, it has grown as a super conference in college basketball.  On the gridiron, though, the conference has lost the likes of Miami, Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Pitt over the last several years.

By maintaining football independence with this new agreement, Notre Dame is able to keep its current television deal with NBC for the network to exclusively broadcast all Notre Dame home games – a key component in making the deal.  “This approach allows us to help promote ACC football while maintaining our traditional rivalries and a national schedule,” said Swarbrick.

Gaining access to the ACC lineup of bowl games is another major benefit of the new agreement.  Notre Dame’s bowl options have been severely lacking over the last several years including this year when the Irish may have a tough time finding a compelling bowl game if they are unable to secure a BCS berth.

We’ll have a lot more over the next several days about what this new partnership means for football, recruiting, and other sports.


You may also like


  1. I think given the changing landscape in CF, especially in the years to come, some sort of affiliation with a conference may be required to “join the other kiddies on the playground” (read playoff system and /or major bowls) and I would hate to see ND be left out. This is big picture thinking and I’d rather see ACC affiliation versus Big 10, Big 12,Big East, or god forbid SEC. This enhances the basketball program and I think will pay dividends down the road for ND basketball. As to football, like any conference, you have greats, in-betweens, and poor teams in the ACC. At this time playing 5 games against ACC opponents is not the worst thing here as some here on this blog believe it is (such as “bj”). It’s not a bad move because the alternative to not doing it down the road may be much less favorable or desirable.

    Go Irish

  2. Let me say a couple of things about this. I still wish for better days in collegiate athletics. This thing will implode.

    Aside from my overall thoughts, Notre Dame did OK here. They could not really stay independent too much longer. And the ACC gave them a good compromise.

    Also, ND may eventually give up the stupid NBC contract. That’s OK.

    I do wish consideration would have been given to the womens’ programs. They were suited for the Big East.

    We’ll see how this works. The football teams in the ACC do not excite me. But perhaps this bolsters an alternative to the SEC.

    I give the whole system 5 years.

    1. JC,

      Have to say, I was really starting to get concerned that ND was going to stick with the soon to be, restructured Big East.

      I’ll probably catch some flack for saying this, but with the announcement last December that SMU was joining
      the Big East in 2013, it really didn’t sit well with me.

      We all know what everyone’s first thought is when you put the letters S-M-U together.

      Call me what you will, but I think it is in ND’s best interest to not be associated with certain programs in any way, shape, or form.

      When you look at the big picture, I think the ACC gives us the most bang for our buck.

      1. Kudos Shaz,

        Time to move on! Sure glad we did NOT go with the Big Ten! This deal fits ND a whole lot better Nationally from many aspects. And let’s face it, with this changing conference landscape converging fast; I don’t know of a better deal!

        Here come the Irish!

      2. Further Shaz,

        This ain’t no “sponge bob” conference in football. AP says:

        #5 FSU

        #11 Clemson

        #13 Virginia Tech

        Here come the Irish!

    !.T he finest university in the ACC is Georgia Tech.. especially in academics.

    2. L.S.U. suspended 4 of its top athletes this week who are academically ineligable aka Les Miles aka Michigan, tOSU, ND = midwest academic standards. S.E.C. school improving its standards (for now)

    3. I applaud Notre Dame for the ACC decision because Notre Dame is not only protecting athletics but academics ! Aye!!!

    1. ACC. Academics with Duke, Boston C, Wake, Virginia,, UNC And the others are first rate. ND just makes the ACC stronger in all ways

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button