Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Would BC, ACC throw Notre Dame a lifeline?

It looks like the conference shuffle will happen again and Notre Dame is finally on the hot seat. The fork in the Irish road is stay independent in Football and watch the Big East collapse and undermine all their non-football sports currently playing in the Big East. Or join the Big Ten in all sports, reap huge financial gains, yet lose the independence so critical to the Irish aura. Notre Dame fans are up in arms at the thought of joining the hated Big Ten. But Notre Dame's leadership is too smart to let the school get dragged down with the Big East 3.0 (which might include underfunded Catholic programs and some less than desirable fill ins like ECU or Memphis).

From my perspective it seems like Notre Dame needs three things. 1. Non football stability, 2. Continued revenue growth, 3. The flexibility to play football outside the Midwest. They want their current Big East setup but with a little more money and prestige. The only conference that I think could offer them that would be the ACC.

The Pac 10 needs two full-time football members to get their championship game. The Big XII is in danger of being raided and would also need full-time football members to replace any defections. The SEC could "add" Notre Dame in non football sports, but culturally and geographically the Irish would be a huge fish out of water. And I don't know if they would bring that much to the table to justify say the Ole Miss softball team traveling up to South Bend in late April.

The ACC on the other hand with its mix of public and private schools is more inline with Notre Dame. Like the Irish, many of the ACC's biggest programs have strong followings in the North East corridor. The ACC already has championship game so they don't need ND for football. However, the ACC could create a bowl agreement with the Irish and create a partial ACC schedule for them (similar to the old Big East deal). While many BC and ACC fans would be outraged about making special accommodations for Notre Dame, if structured well, the deal could improve our bowl slots and increase the value of the TV contract.

I don't think this will happen. I think the Big Ten money will prove too enticing and Notre Dame will finally join the conference they've dreaded for decades. However, and despite the protest I am sure most BC fans would have, the ACC needs to at least reach out to Notre Dame.


John said...
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Patrick said...

I think ND should join the Big 10 (11? 12?) and work out a deal where their home games are still on NBC and they get to keep that money. their away games will be on ESPN/ABC or whoever they have a deal with at that time. in this situation everyone wins. the Big 10 gets its 12th team and its conference championship game, ND gets to keep their precious NBC money, ND actually has something to play for besides just the national title and the Big 10 gets another big name school that will certainly help boost ratings.

John said...

Instead, The Big East jumps ahead and brings in Notre Dame in Football.

The Big East and ACC then form a strong association and lure in some great TV deals, etc.

This opens up room for other top-notch teams to join in - and a realignment of the two conferences under one great association takes place.

will the thrill said...

Kind of a secondary comment, but aren't all BC fans happy that no one is even talking about the ACC being raided or being involved in this round of consolidation? This reason--stability--was a huge factor is our decision to join the ACC. We are secure. Every other school outside of the Big XII, SEC, and ACC has reason to worry what will happen to their respective conferences.

mod34b said...

I think ND will maintain the status quo.

They have got the big name and can still largely dictate what they want to do (even if they are slightly nervous now about a big reallignment). Who would you rather watch ND? or Indiana or MSU?

Sure, an ND-ACC alliance would be great, and something the ACC would jump at. It would also enhance the chances for more BC v ND games.

But I don't see it happening.

eagleboston said...

The Big Ten is clearly the best fit for Notre Dame. They already play 3-4 Big Ten teams each year and geographically, it makes the most sense.

Notre Dame needs to join a conference. I think one of the reasons BC has owned ND over the past decade is because BC has played in a conference where every game is a high-pressure battle. Notre Dame knows they can lose a couple games and still make the BCS.

mmason said...

Notre Dame is about as Atlantic Coast as USC is Big Ten. Maybe it's just me, living our here where people elect The Terminator as Governor of the largest State in the USA, so anything really nuts might be possible--but wasn't the original idea behind the "conference" concept something about "proximity" and common
culture and traditions? ND is middle west and corn fields and a stone's throw from Purdue and tradition bound with Michigan and Indiana (cuz it's there) and Chicago (cuz Chi folk go to ND in big numbers and are fans who travel there.) Now you guys are talkin' ND in the ACC like it's a good idea...
for them? Or for BC or the ACC?

Is it the last gasps of the ND/BC martchup that's got all of you East Coast BC people jumpy? Hell, do you think that ND wants anymore of BC beatdowns in their future? Uh...lemme think...uh, NO! BC could be the very reason ND would not ever go the ACC way. The Domers hate to lose habitually to anyone--including SC. They want control and money and independence.
They like their freedom to bargain-it's why they landed their most recent football guru flavor of the month guy.

Nothing will change until they suffer complete and total media coverage humiliation and it effects their bottom line. Period. And who really needs all that aggravation from them anyway, with their ND terms and one-sided deals? The 21st century has kicked their butts--they're like Catholics that still want the Latin Mass--it's quaint, but it ain't comin' back...not until the Lord Himself comes back again. ND could be in danger of extinction sooner than you think--like the single wing.

You guys and your ND's not like they care what BC does in anything--promise you that.

How 'bout them BC Eagles that play Hockey? Now that's a conversation.

blist said...

Good one mmason re. the Latin Mass.
I don't think the ACC needs ND, but it's not the most illogical place for it-- If ND didn't think it needed an East Coast presence, then why is it hooked in with the Big East in everything but football? ND is in the Eastern Time zone, it does have a old rivalry with Miami that would harken its glory days, it really has a thing about scheduling East Coast games (just inking a Maryland game for 2011 in DC). Plus the schools are more in line with ND (i.e. smaller and more private -- BC, GT, Duke, etc).
It's true though, it seems like they have developed a complex about BC, but maybe we could vouch for Hockey East membership for them too - anything to help out a down-on-his-luck big brother.

Coast said...

mmason: but wasn't the original idea behind the "conference" concept something about "proximity" and common culture and traditions?

This has to be the line of the day. I don't think Stephen Colbert could have written anything more saturated with irony or rife with hypocrisy.

Deacon Drake said...

The ACC will not go to 13 teams... it's a terrible number.

The Big10 Network needs to be a little bit more proactive and partner with Comcast/NBC... it would bring Notre Dame the coverage and dollars it needs and boost the profile of the conference as well as the network. Though whether or not NBC is in the fray for bidding these contract rights remains to be seen.

blist said...

I am dubious about it happening - and it's probably wishful thinking - but I could see the ACC going with 2 more: ND and Syracuse.

Tony77019 said...
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Tony77019 said...

Notre Dame has nothing in common with the ACC. What do you think makes the ACC attractive in addition to its $11 million payout to each team? Notre Dame makes at least that much now. The Irish love Big East basketball. There may be changes on the horizon but they won't involve Notre Dame or the ACC.

SPACEY said...

Well...basically agree with MMason...who cares? The ACC does not need the Irish. They are an over-sold brand like Toyota, but in their case, it's unintended De-celleration. BC (FOOTBALL) has the possibility to be the "Catholic" team of this century...not the last.