With Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse officially in the ACC, here’s what I like about each addition.

SyracusePretty significant day for the ACC Monday as Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Syracuse became official members of the ACC. I know some folks are saying what’s the big deal, we knew this was happening for months. It’s never official, until well it’s 100% official. Just ask the Big East, with smart moves to try an add Boise St. and TCU that appeared to be formalities. They never joined.

Now that our new friends are, here’s what I like about each addition…

Notre Dame

Notre Dame enters the ACC as we know as a partial member. Yes it would be better if they were full members, but John Swofford pulled a real coup by locking up college athletics most recognizable name. Notre Dame isn’t joining the Big 10, Big 12 or anyone else, and they are still playing 5 ACC opponents a year in football. As I’ve said before Wake Forest and Boston College sold out games with Notre Dame and these were prime time games. Whether you like Notre Dame or not, people pay attention to them. With Brian Kelly at the helm they will be a top 20 football fixture.

Notre Dame instantly provides marquee games with Miami, Florida State, and Clemson among others. Notre Dame has been strong basketball program, and will help elevate the the ACC, where only Duke UNC have been consistent winners in recent years. Miami, FSU and NC State have put together some decent runs the last few years, but ACC basketball just got 3 teams deeper.


I tell you what. I have long thought the Panthers had the potential  to be a very good football program. As recently as a three year span from 2008-2010, the Panthers won 29 games during that period. They have a bowl streak of 5 years too. All-Americans and 1st round NFL dot their recent past. Is this an elite football program? Obviously not, but it’s better than what is has been given credit for. What Pitt has lacked is consistency. Under the right circumstances with the right coach you can win at Pitt.

We’ve already mentioned Notre Dame’s basketball, but Pitt along Syracuse will bring a more physical style of basketball that the ACC has lacked in recent years. I think that has hurt ACC teams in the NCAA’s. The ACC still plays more of a primarily open court spread the floor style. Honestly I like watching that kind of basketball better, but it wouldn’t hurt the ACC to be able to play a more rugged game when needed.


Jim Boeheim is going to be so fun in the ACC. The guy is a quote machine. When Louisville and Rick Pitino join next year the collection of legendary basketball coaches will read like a college basketball who’s who. Remember the mid 80s Big East? Lou Carnesecca, John Thompson, Rollie Massimino? Great legends, but this will be better, with Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski all roaming the sidelines. I wrote about this in May. I’m really looking forward to the first time Syracuse and Duke play. Like I said with Pitt, Syracuse will bring that Big East physical play to the ACC. That can only help the ACC. While ACC basketball hasn’t been bad, it has dropped recently especially past towards the middle of the conference. Notre Dame, Pitt, and Syracuse easily make the ACC a 7-9 team deep basketball conference.

With the additions Syracuse and Pitt, the ACC makes more geographic sense. Boston College is no longer an outlier, but now is part of the Northern Tier of the ACC. Nearly 25% of Notre Dame’s student population is from NorthEast.

Now we just need to get on with the business of Maryland leaving, and get Louisville in the fold. I think everyone would be more pleased if we could just swap now. No hard feelings Maryland, but I know you’re ready to move on too.

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