The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Reaction to the ND-ACC Move

Naturally, a move as significant as ND moving from the Big East to the ACC can only mean Internet reactions are plentiful.

First things first, the Confidential’s take is that this is the win-win of all win-wins.  Notre Dame was left hanging in the chaotic Big East, which was about to become C-USA.  The Big East will survive, but Notre Dame was an increasingly poor fit on every front.  Notre Dame now gets to park its non-revenue sports in the ACC, which is outstanding for basketball and lacrosse.  And 5 football games against ACC schools is nothing.  Frankly, it is a win for Notre Dame because of the trouble it will have scheduling opponents in the future.  That still leaves 7 games to play against Navy, USC, a few Big 10 schools, etc.  For the ACC, this more convincingly elevates the conference above the remainder of the college football landscape.  With Notre Dame in the fold, the rest of the conference can breathe a lot more easily that Florida State and Clemson will be placated with games against Notre Dame.  Notre Dame will fill the seats and provide a great TV audience.  In fact, the bigger news is the ACC schools raising the exit fee substantially.  Sure, the ND football issue will loom.  But better to have a football issue of that nature than be relegated to outside the power structure.  ND and the ACC just ensured their seat at the table.

If you care about conference realignment, then you surely spend time over at Frank the Tank’s blog.  Between Frank and the commentariat, this is the gold standard for discussing realignment.  Here is the link to the discussion over there.

The Big XII was apparently caught off guard, or at least surprised, by the announcement, according to Chip Brown at

Amazingly, Dick Vitale has survived ND and his beloved ACC coming together without dying of ecstasy.  A very reasoned tweet, indeed:  “ND to ACC gr8 move 4 ACC & ND control football but get away from chaos of BIG East! I don’t like these wacky moves but ND made solid move. .”  We’ll have to see how he fares when ND plays Duke in a conference game some February in the future.  A cardiologist nearby is a good idea.

All in all, Tomahawk Nation appears to be handling things well.  For them, anyway.  It looks like as many as 10% of that fan base can see the wisdom in the deal.  The remaining 90% adhere to their teenager-esque stance of hating anything the ACC does.  There really is no fan base in America that is more delusional.  Ah well, with dreaded Wake Forest on the schedule, one can appreciate the angst.

Over at On The Banks, 3 Rutgers fans have commented.  The UConnBlog is a bit more active, with a nice blend of doom-and-gloom and optimism about being team #16.

Anything else noteworthy?

UPDATE: A new entry from Frank the Tank:

What surprises me is that the ACC offered this deal to Notre Dame in the first place.  ACC commissioner John Swofford has long taken the position that the league should only be made up of all-sports members along with members such as UNC that believe that they are every bit as powerful on the college sports landscape as Texas, Michigan and USC, so it can’t be emphasized enough that this is a dramatic change.  Unlike the perception in much of the media that this move was “Notre Dame choosing the ACC”, the reality is that this was the ACC choosing to move off of a previously intractable position.  The ACC might have been spooked by the constant rumors that the Big 12 would poach schools such as Florida State or Clemson (along with adding Notre Dame as a non-football member itself) as a result of the Big 12′s new TV deal.  On that front, the ACC schools agreed to what will likely be an impenetrable wall of a $50 million exit fee for each school.  That is honestly an even bigger deal in the long-term than the Notre Dame move since it effectively the ACC from its football cash cows bolting to other conferences.

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9 thoughts on “Reaction to the ND-ACC Move

  1. Vinnie Saltine on said:

    The ACC should target Villanova next.

    Here’s my rationale: if Notre Dame stays as a partial-member, then the ACC may look to bring on a similar partial-member (all sports, except football). ‘Nova has the ability to one day become an FBS school, so should ND ever decide to join in football they can too, but there is otherwise no pressure for them.

    Secondly, Villanova adds the Philly market and matches the ACC model: private school, good academics, etc… while providing rivalries for Syracuse, Pitt, and Maryland.

    Lastly, after getting dicked-around by the Big East last year, it would be very fitting to see Villanova jump ship to the ACC.

    • dacuseman on said:

      WTF would the ACC want with Nova?!?!? UConn is next if they don’t collapse in the post-Calhoun era.

      • Vinnie Saltine on said:

        Until ND joins in football, which is a giant “If”, then the ACC has no need for taking an extra football team.

        Therefore, if you’re looking exclusively at the non-football schools then Villanova makes the most sense.

        However if Notre Dame does join in football, then what the hell would the ACC want with UConn?

        If you get Notre Dame as a full-member including football, I wouldn’t stop my search at just Big East refugees like UConn, Rutgers, or LVille, or even PSU. Instead, you may be able to reach even higher and poach a team from one of the other “Big 5 Conferences”.

        I would target a football AND basketball king. Ohio State immediately comes to mind. Great football, so FSU & Clemson will be happy. Great basketball, so Duke/UNC will be happy. They can still play a rivalry game OOC with Michigan. Geographically bridges the gap between Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. And with the Ohio State and ND in the same conference, then the ACC can probably get more money from the ESPN than the B1G and a dedicated ACC network.

        With a $50M buyout, the ACC never has to worry about getting poached, so why not?

        • Ohio State is NEVER leaving the B1G. If you said Penn State, then at least you get to lower case never.

          If there is a 16th team, it is probably going to come down to one of UConn, Rutgers, Louisville, Temple, or perhaps even West Virginia. WVU would absolutely make FSU happy. A football school, with decent hoops, and inferior academics. I could see WVU wanting to be back in its region and being willing to take a pay cut. Note that Oliver Luck just got done mentioning how the TV gap between the ACC/Big XII was not enough to lure a team. Maybe the TV gap is not enough to keep WVU from returning east. Who knows? As I’ve always said, WVU and ND is a perfect pair to add to the ACC.

          Or perhaps Florida State will scrap up the pennies to bolt for the Big XII with Louisville. And then things the ACC can pick up Rutgers or UConn to fill in the gap(s).

          I tend to think the ACC will not be proactive with team #16.

        • dacuseman on said:


    • Yeah, I’ve got to agree. Georgetown and Villanova should have been working on FBS-level programs 15 years ago to make themselves more marketable. The Big East could have used a solid Philly presence (unlike Temple back then) and another DC presence (along with Va Tech).

      At this point, I’d put Temple ahead of Villanova. Same market. More tradition. Similar hoops.

      But there is no reason for the ACC to add a 16th school anyway. These things will take care of themselves over time.

      • Vinnie Saltine on said:

        First of all, adding anyone in football is completey contingent upon getting ND as a full-fledged member, which may never happen, so all of this is purely academic.

        But my greater point is this: if the ACC wants to be the Big East 2.0, then act like the Big East and make decisions like the Big East. Target teams like UConn and Rutgers for expansion and be happy.

        However, if you want to be on par with the B1G, Big XII, or maybe even the SEC someday, then you have to act like them and make bold moves/decisions.

        With Notre Dame in tow and a $50M buyout, I say swing for the fences.

        • dacuseman on said:

          I think it’s a done deal already and ND is contractually obligated to join when thier contract with NBC expires. This would allow ND to save face and, at least, make it seem as if thier situation didn’t force them to give up thier cherished status as an Independant.

  2. dacuseman on said:

    And the hammer comes down!! The BE bball schools worked really hard for this. So glad they got it!

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