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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Notre Dame, The Big East, and the ACC

Well, it looks like the “Catholic 7” that are leaving the Big East are going to be taking the name–The Big East–with them.  As Frank the Tank points out, the Big East name still has value to those schools.  Indeed, Georgetown, Villanova, St. Johns, Providence, and Seton Hall have been part of the Big East for a long time.  In contrast, only Connecticut has a comparatively long history.  In the end, it certainly seems like this is a fair result.

Frank notes that Fox is paying for this move.  So it is yet another defeat for ESPN in the “war” between the two sports programming giants.

The interesting part is what happens with Notre Dame.  If the “Catholic 7” leaves before the 2013-2014 basketball season, what happens to the Fighting Irish?  Do they stay as a part of the diminished Former Big East, with games against UConn, Temple, and the C-USA teams?  Do they go with the Catholic 7 for one year while waiting for the ACC to create a spot?  Will the ACC create a spot for the Fighting Irish?  There are a lot of moving parts here.  In any event, the unlikely event of Notre Dame being in the ACC for the 2013-2014 basketball season is no longer quite as unlikely.

Oh, and let’s not feel TOO sorry for Connecticut, Cincinnati, and South Florida yet.  With all the defections, as well as the desperation for the Catholic 7 to leave and take the naming rights to the Big East, they might be left holding all the NCAA tournament credits and the exit fee fund left behind.  There is talk that this funding will be in the neighborhood of $68 million.  That is better than a sharp stick in the eye, anyway.

In any event, the main thing to keep an eye on is what happens to Notre Dame.  That will have to get resolved pretty quickly.

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15 thoughts on “Notre Dame, The Big East, and the ACC

  1. Vinnie Saltine on said:

    So…does this mean that Mike Aresco will stay as the Commissioner of the Big East w/ football teams, or does he go with the Basketball Big East?

    If its the former, then I wonder if John Marinatto will be considered as the next Big East (basketball) Commissioner again? I imagine the meeting in Providence would look something like this:

    Meeting in Providence

  2. naturally like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will certainly come back again

    • Thank you for your constructive criticism. We do strive for perfect spelling, as well as perfect grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Falling short on perfection is always a disappointment.

  3. Appears (from the usually rumor mill) that FOX may have upped the bid to the Catholic 7 to $4,000,000 per team/yr if Notre Dame joins–unclear if that is one year or more. Obviously, Fox wants to throw mud on the ACC and ESPN; however, if Fox can keep changing the dollars, why can’t ESPN say…okay ACC–get Notre Dame in and here is $2,000,000 more per team….or otherwise, ACC may be blown away……what is your take?

    • I am sure that ESPN could say that to the ACC, but it is irrelevant because ND is not going to join. And money is not going to change that analysis. The only thing that will make ND join is a perception that the only way they will be able to get a championship is to join a conference. And neither the present system or the future system require such a move. So ND is not coming, no matter how much $$$ is thrown at ND.

      As for Fox and ND’s other sports, I have not seen the rumors. But the extra $1M is merely a lifeboat to ND if the ACC implodes. I am not sure that ND would prefer the Catholic 7 to the imploded ACC anyway. Games against BC, Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, Wake Forest, etc., are not the worst thing in the world. Maybe Navy would jump to the ACC. Louisville, Cincy, USF gives some more diversity too.

      • Believe you missed my point…not join for football but come in immediately for bball etc…that is worth something…also if ACC does not get more $$$ and does not get Notre Dame in the door now, why do you feel the ACC will be here in two years…at least as we know it?

        • Notre Dame joining for basketball will have no impact on the existence of the ACC. If Notre Dame moved its non-football teams to the Catholic 7, but agreed to keep its football arrangement, that would be fine for the current ACC teams.

          Notre Dame’s basketball juice just does not extend to upping everyone by $2M per year. NOW if ESPN were to deem it worthwhile to use Notre Dame as an excuse to raise the ACC contract by $2M per year, that is possible. But it still comes down to the benevolence of the ACC, rather than “worth.”

          As for ND in the ACC in 2013-2014–if it can be done, it will. Not sure why there would be any benefit to waiting if ND to 2014-2015 if ND is a free agent already. Louisville swapping for Maryland can happen whenever.

        • Oh, the ACC may or may not be here in 2 years as we know it. If ND committed its football team, it would certainly be here. But that will not be happening. So then it becomes a question of how much the ACC schools can be convinced that it is worthwhile to stick it out.

  4. As always I appreciate your response and view point. Just one more question however: What is your belief that ESPN will up the dollars for ACC?…because if it does not I believe the ACC will be poached and torn apart…and that is sad.

    • If ESPN does not do something, then the ACC is at risk for being torn apart. All of these conferences apparently think that most of the ACC assets are worth enough to increase their media revenue. If you add up those numbers alone–that means that the media rights have to be worth at least $25M per school. ESPN is paying far less than that. So there is room for ESPN to move up the $$$.

      ESPN could, of course, decline to voluntarily give anything up. The risk, however, is that the ACC will be torn apart, with pieces going to the Big 10, Big XII, and the SEC. WIth the latter, ESPN retains control. With the Big 10 and Big XII, Fox wins big time. Meanwhile, the ACC would be reduced to a collection of smaller, less media-revenue driving universities. While that would provide programming, the programming would not be comparable to what Fox offers.

      If ESPN is fine with being a second-rate sports network, so be it. They can sit by and watch the ACC get torn to pieces.

  5. From Connecticut on said:

    I can’t wait to see the ACC torn apart. They deserve nothing less for what they did to the Big East.

    So let all of those loser states keep taking our federal tax dollars for their football scholarships while they wait for a real conference to raid them.

    The ACC is a classless bunch.

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