According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will join the ACC in all athletic sportswith the exception of football and hockey.
Although the Irish will not be joining the conference in football, the school will still play games against conference football opponents. Notre Dame’s football program will play five ACC teams per year, starting as soon as the university exits the Big East conference. This is good news for fans of football programs like Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Stanford, USC, Navy and Army because a five game conference slate allows Notre Dame to continue its rivalry matchups with the aforementioned schools.
According to ACC commissioner John Swofford, the ACC will not be looking to add a sixteenth member to its conference. Swofford also added that Notre Dame will host two ACC teams and travel to three ACC teams one year and then flip-flop that arrangement the next year.
In recent months, the Fighting Irish have been rumored to join the Big XII conference as a fulltime member, but apparently the university decided that the ACC is a better fit for the school as a whole—most likely because the ACC did not require the school to commit its football program as a fulltime member. It would have been awesome to see Notre Dame take on Oklahoma and Texas on a yearly basis, but that pipe dream will continue to be what it is, a pipe dream.
Some Big Ten fans, including myself, will be disappointed that the “Notre Dame to Big Ten” door has been finally closed for at least the next one or two decades. It is what it is because Notre Dame and the Big Ten never were able to see eye-to-eye as far as a conference agreements go.
Big East officials say that Notre Dame will have to give 27 months’ notice before leaving and pay an exit fee of $5 million to the conference before it can officially join the ACC.