According to ESPN the Catholic 7 schools from the Big East are looking to starting their new league with 3 more teams this fall. This is ahead of the schedule most people anticipated. What does this have to with the ACC and Notre Dame?
“Sources said Notre Dame has planned on remaining in the Big East for the 2013-14 academic year as long as the Catholic 7 schools did so. However, if those schools left before then, the Fighting Irish would also look to join the ACC this summer.
If unable to join the ACC in 2013-14, the Fighting Irish would consider spending one season in the Catholic 7 league before moving to the ACC in 2014, a source said.”
Now I don’t know if logistically the ACC can manage adding the Irish this year, but if Notre Dame wants to join early the ACC, the conference should accommodate them. I’m not talking about just doing this because Notre Dame wants it, but in these uncertain realignment things can change at a moment notice. Just ask the Big East about TCU, Boise St, and San Diego St. All looked to pretty certain to join the Big East, none did.
The ACC is far less unstable than the Big East was at that time, but if you can get Notre Dame into the fold sooner you eliminate even the remote possibility that something stops Notre Dame from joining the ACC in the future.
In addition should Notre Dame want to join this year as apparently is indicated, what better way to build goodwill with a program that you want to eventually join as a full member? Does it mean it will happen? Of course not, but the Irish have a long memory for being well treated. That’s why the Notre Dame Navy rivalry is so sacred to the Irish, as the US Navy help keep Notre Dame afloat during some rough financial times more than 60 years ago. You know the saying ”A little good will goes a long way”.
If it were possible the ACC should go ahead and get Louisville in too. Let the Cardinals play their football schedule this year, but go ahead and join in everything else, but this might be too complicated for this year, especially with Maryland still in the ACC. Rutgers and Maryland would have to join the Big 10 early, and they are all playing football in their old conferences. Notre Dame though as independent in football their addition is not as difficult.
The ACC should work to make this happen, the sooner the better.