Ever since The Clemson Insider came out with our report that the ACC is looking into including Notre Dame as a potential member for the 2020 football season, many Clemson fans have been upset about the news.
The vast majority of the Tiger fans I have spoken with are not in favor of the potential move because they feel like the ACC should not be “cowering down to the Irish.”
In case you missed our report on Thursday afternoon, the ACC is leaning towards a proposed model from the league that has the Irish joining the ACC as a full-time member for the 2020 season. The ACC’s Board of Governors will meet on Wednesday to discuss this model as well as a couple of others.
With the Irish playing a league schedule, the ACC is looking at a 10+1 model, that is 10 conference games plus one non-conference game. There will be no divisions in this format and Notre Dame will be eligible to contend for an ACC Championship
The 10+1 model seems to be the one the league is most in favor of. However, there are other reports the conference is also looking at an 8+1 model which also has Notre Dame involved as an ACC member.
The biggest question surrounding this news is why is Notre Dame allowed to compete for an ACC Championship when they are only doing this for one year?
The answer. Because it is what the ACC wants.
Notre Dame has no interest in playing for an ACC Championship. It does not need to. However, the ACC needs the Irish, especially with the league being down from a national perspective.
This is a “you scratch my back I will scratch yours” kind of deal. The Irish need the ACC this year to fill out a schedule. The ACC in turn needs Notre Dame to give the championship game some balance.
The last three years, Clemson has made the ACC Championship Game a formality. The Tigers beat an overrated Miami team by 35 points in 2017, did the same to an average Pitt team in 2018 and last year embarrassed a pretty good Virginia team, 62-17.
Notre Dame is projected by some to be a top 10 team this year. The Tigers were already playing Notre Dame and now there is a chance there might be a rematch in the title game.
The Irish will always bring big television ratings, and a possible Clemson-Notre Dame rematch with the winner going to the College Football Playoff will make for good television.
So, as you can see in this scenario, Notre Dame is sacrificing something. It is bringing something to the table. Also, it benefits Clemson. The Tigers will have an opportunity to get two wins over a possible top 10 team, one on the road and the other at a neutral site.
If the Irish were to play an ACC schedule and not have to contend for an ACC Championship, then a win over Clemson near the end of the year, depending on how they did in the rest of their games, would assure them a playoff spot. But in this scenario, they will have to earn their playoff spot by likely having to beat Clemson twice.
Also, this good for the ACC. Since Notre Dame joined the ACC as a part-time member in 2012 and has been playing five to six ACC teams a year in football, the league’s television revenue has went up 96 percent.
Also, this might be the thing the conference needs to entice Notre Dame to join the league in football.
Right now, when Notre Dame goes and plays an ACC team on the road, the Irish get none of that television money. In fact, Notre Dame is bringing in $15 million dollars a year from its NBC deal.
Clemson received $29.5 million from the ACC in revenue sharing from last year, which includes television revenue. The Irish made just $7.9 million as a part-time member. They also get a guaranteed $3 million from the CFP and $6 million if they make the playoff.
However, despite the guaranteed money from the CFP, as you can see, joining the conference could benefit the Irish too in the long run.
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