Could an annual matchup between Clemson and Notre Dame be on the horizon? Will the Irish be joining the ACC as a full member or a partial member? We could know the answer to those questions very soon.
For several months TheClemsonInsider.com has been telling its members that the chances of Notre Dame joining the ACC were much higher than Clemson leaving for the Big 12. The ACC has been courting the Irish for a long time but those discussions picked up over the past few months as we’ve reported.
TheClemsonInsider.com has now confirmed with sources close to the situation that the discussions have progressed to the point where Presidents from a number of ACC schools are having discussions with Notre Dame to try to finalize a deal. The ACC Presidents would love for the Irish to join the ACC as a full member, but they are also interested in other alternatives that could help the league.
In the June 18th Insider Report TheClemsonInsider.com discussed how the talks between the ACC and the Irish were now including discussions about Notre Dame joining the ACC for all sports except football but also included in the deal would be the Irish playing a number of ACC football teams each year.
According to sources who spoke with TheClemsonInsider.com the Irish still prefer to stay independent but are very interested in reaching an agreement with the ACC that would allow Notre Dame to play a number of the ACC schools that would help their RPI as college football moves towards a four team playoff. Those teams include Clemson, Miami, Florida State and Virginia Tech. Notre Dame would also continue to play Boston College and perhaps other ACC opponents. Annual match-ups between Notre Dame and the top ACC football schools would of course also be very attractive to the broadcast companies.
If Notre Dame was to join the ACC as a full member or as a member in all sports except football it would allow the ACC to renegotiate the ACC ESPN multi-platform agreement that was announced in early May.
TheClemsonInsider.com has confirmed with several sources that Clemson and a number of other ACC schools have been pushing the league to reverse the decision to play nine league games. If the new agreement with ESPN was no longer valid that would open the door for the move back to an eight game schedule. Adding Notre Dame to the schedule of the football powers in the ACC would also necessitate a move back to eight games.
The recent agreement between the ACC and the Orange Bowl showed that many who had predicted the demise of the ACC were mistaken. Notre Dame is part of the discussions between the ACC and the Orange Bowl as they search for playing partners for the game.
If the Irish did join the ACC as a full or partial member it would setup a bidding war between NBC and ESPN. This would certainly increase the revenue to the league from the broadcast companies. Will the ACC one day have a game of the week on NBC similar to the deal the SEC has with CBS? Will the NBC Sports Network get a major boost by some sort of agreement with the ACC? Will NBC be able to chip away at ESPN’s strangle hold on college sports? Stay tuned to the every changing landscape of college football.
Visit The Rock for the latest on the talks between the ACC and the Irish.