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May
16
2017

Here we go again with Notre Dame and conference affiliation

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Well…. Here we go again! It seems that this happens every year and every year it never happens. This time it was Tim Brando on friend of All Sports Discussion, Ethan Moore and Nick Burch’s radio show Louisville Sports Live. Mr. Brando, believes the landscape of college football is changing, and Notre Dame will change with it. Mr. Brando believes that it is only a matter of time until Notre Dame joins a conference and that conference will be the ACC.

Now, full disclosure, I grew up a Notre Dame fan, I still root for the Irish. I read up one the Irish and keep up with the news. While I agree that the college football landscape is changing, I don’t think Notre Dame has to change with it. Notre Dame currently has a deal with NBC that pays them $15 million annually through 2025. According to USA Today in 2015 the ACC paid $6.2 million to Notre Dame. So, when you look at it, Notre Dame made $21.2 million in sports revenue. To put that in perspective, the ACC paid out that same year $27.6 million to FSU (highest) to $24 million to Syracuse (lowest).

This doesn’t even take into account Notre Dame’s contract with the College Football Playoff which pays Notre Dame $2.3 million (according to USNEWS 2014). That brings the total amount of money generated by Notre Dame to $23.5 million.

You read that last part correctly. The College Football Playoff pays Notre Dame at least $2.3 million per year just for being… Notre Dame. So, when you look at the money side, it does not seem that Notre Dame is losing that much. All of that money does not take into account the 8 home games that generate revenue, or the amount given to the athletic department by donors.

So, money doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue, now let’s look at scheduling. Notre Dame has the advantage of being able to schedule whom ever they wish. They have signed an agreement with the ACC through 2036. This means that Notre Dame will play 5 games versus ACC opponents.

When you add that to the games they traditionally play against Navy, USC, and Stanford, ND only needs to find 4 games a year to fill. And they can play whoever, wherever they want. They’ve played Arizona St. in Dallas, they’ve played Army in Yankee Stadium. This is a benefit that I doubt Notre Dame will give up easily.

I disagree with what Mr. Brando stated because of those 2 main reasons. And when the NBC deal is up in 2025 I believe that NBC will meet whatever the ACC will offer. I believe that NBC paying $25-$30 million a year is not out of the question. I believe that NBC will do what it needs to do to keep Notre Dame. As long as the College Football playoff continues to give Notre Dame preferential treatment, Notre Dame can still schedule who and where they want and NBC still needs programming, you will see Notre Dame stay independent no matter what….

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