I thought that the ACC allowed the Notre Dame to dictate the terms of their agreement, in a sense allowing the Irish to bully it around. I thought that this would cause the other schools to be resentful over the Irish still keeping its TV contract with NBC while only having to play less ACC games than the full-time members.
Then I did a little something called “research”, and boy did it drastically change my mind. Let’s examine the benefits.
First of all, the ACC gets the national football brand it had been craving for quite some time. The other major conferences each have national brands. The Big Ten has Ohio State and Michigan. The Big 12 has Texas and Oklahoma. The Pac-12 has USC and Oregon. The SEC, a.k.a. “The Beast” has Alabama and to a lesser extent LSU.
The ACC? Sure Florida State, Virginia Tech and Clemson are nice regional football brands. But NATIONALLY, I don’t think so.
You can’t get more of a national brand than Notre Dame, and that is a big coup for the ACC. Schools will fight tooth and nail to land Notre Dame on their schedules.
Second, with a national brand comes more $$$ to the ACC. ACC Commissioner John Swofford came under fire for the contract he negotiated with ESPN. The Notre Dame move will trigger a clause in its ESPN contract which would allow the conference to renegotiate for more millions of dollars per school. And one more thing, the most beautiful part is that the ACC would not have to include Notre Dame with the revenue split (which would bring MORE $$$ to the other members).
Finally, it will help the ACC in recruiting. ACC schools, especially those near SEC schools, will finally have a trump card to play when recruiting talented kids: the possibility of playing against Notre Dame. Now schools like Maryland, N.C. State and new members Pittsburgh and Syracuse, have a better shot at keeping their home-grown talent.
As for Notre Dame, it is winning all over the place.
While having to play five ACC schools, Notre Dame could keep its yearly rivals USC, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue. It could also extend its brand to the southeast and the Washington, DC area. And most of all, the Irish can keep their NBC contract all to themselves.
You see, Notre Dame is the hot chick that everyone wants to be with. In order for dudes (college conferences) to get with her, it must be on HER terms. And if a dude wants to step his game up and enhance his profile (ACC), he has to allow her to date other people (ND maintaining its independence and scheduling whatever teams it wants) while being her main squeeze. Both parties in that scenario would be happy, right?
So are Notre Dame and the ACC.