Dienhart: ND joins ACC, but not for football

Dienhart: ND joins ACC, but not for football

Big news today as Notre Dame announced it would join the ACC in all sports but—surprise!—football. So, Big Ten fans, trash any hopes you were clinging to about Notre Dame  joining your conference. The Big Ten twice has made offers in the past, only to be rebuffed. It wasn’t going to ask a third time. Now this move by Notre Dame all but seals the notion that a Big Ten-Notre Dame marriage won’t happen in a long, long time . If ever.

Maybe it’s time for the Big Ten to stop scheduling Notre Dame in all sports. Why fuel the Irish schedule? I know games with Notre Dame are lucrative for Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue—Big Ten foes who regularly play the Irish. But, the seeming finality of Notre Dame’s long-term future with the ACC seems like a good time for the Big Ten to divorce itself of all Notre Dame scheduling.

The Irish have moved on. The Big Ten should, too.

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Notre Dame will join the ACC as soon as it can exit the Big East, which requires a 27-month notice to exit. But remember, West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse bolted earlier without playing a higher exit fee. So, there is no reason to think a school with the heft and power of Notre Dame won’t be able to do the same.

As part of the deal, Notre Dame will play five ACC schools a year in football. Don’t forget: They already essentially have four on the schedule this season: Miami (FL), Boston College, Wake Forest and soon-to-be ACC member Pitt (full Notre Dame schedule here).

This presumably will make the ACC television package more lucrative. Still, not getting a full commitment from Notre Dame cheapens the ACC and makes it look like the Big East, which had a similar agreement with Notre Dame. Ask the Big East how that worked out.

Could you imagine the Big Ten or SEC allowing Notre Dame to join under a similar plan? It wouldn’t happen. This smacks as a desperate move for football relevance by the ACC, just like the  additions of Pitt and Syracuse last fall seemed hasty.

But, again, ND isn’t a football-playing member of the ACC. So, why make the move? Because of Irish basketball? So Wake Forest and Duke can play the Irish once a decade in football?

It’s all laughable.

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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