Coming soon to an ACC stadium near you... Notre Dame. No not in football, depsite news the Irish would be joining the Atlantic Coast Conference this morning, football is not included. Instead the Irish will continue to be an independent, enjoy their own TV contract and play a slate of ACC games that will have every team cycling through every three years.
So while the Fighting Irish are liable to come visit once every year or so in hoops, it will be once every six years in football.
Later today Florida State AD Randy Spetman will address the media about this newest addition to the ACC and I fully expect the conversation to diverge in two much different directions.
As a basketball move this makes sense and adds even more weight to a conference that recently was dissolving into a two-team race. Before Syracuse and Pittsburgh agreed to join the ACC last season, the only consistent standard bearers over the last decade in ACC hoops had been UNC and Duke. Other schools had mounted stretches of their own, but the league was fast becoming a Tobacco Road arms race and now there's a few historically good, storied programs coming to the conference to shake things up.
At first blush, from a basketball standpoint this move makes sense, it strengthens the ACC financially and competitively and it firmly puts the conference back into the conversation as the best in the country.
It doesn't help Florida State much, who has just begun to stake their claim to the top of the ACC hierarchy and now must compete with much more established outfits like the Orange and Irish, but it makes sense.
For football, this just appears to be a horrible decision though.
Here's the thing, and admittedly after today's 2 PM presser this could all change, but Notre Dame gets to have it both ways in football.
This isn't a symbiotic relationship in football because Notre Dame cannot make the ACC look good.
The only reason you would ever want the Irish to beat an ACC team is if they could win the ACC. Which they cannot.
If Notre Dame wins they did on the shoulders and backs of the ACC but they will get the glory and spotlight (like the TV money) as an independent. The ACC gets none of that, they don't get to say their conference produced a champion or that they had some stake in the success, it all belongs to Notre Dame.
All the Irish can do is hurt the ACC.
They could knock off a team with national aspirations in a forced, out of conference game held under the guise of Notre Dame's new membership in the conference. They could pummel the five ACC schools they will play every year and make the conference as a whole look weak.
And even if the ACC wins the majority of the matchups the national story is always going to be about what ails Notre Dame and not what's emerging in the ACC.
Notre Dame gets the kind of exclusive membership that was rumored to have helped persuade FSU not to join the Big 12 without considerable incentive. That's the kind of membership Texas enjoys, ripe with their own network and a clear-cut advantage from a revenue standpoint over others in the same conference. It's been a sore spot for the Big 12 for a while, at one point it looked like it may even be the conference's undoing.
It's not the same situation with Notre Dame, but it is the kind of preferential treatment that was highlighted in Big 12 talks about Texas. But now with news of the ACC's decision to triple the exit fee for Universities leaving the conference to 50 million, those Big 12 talks are more or less moot.
I expect to know a lot more after this press conference and the one to be held by Holden Thorp in Chapel Hill.
Check back later.