Did the ACC help Notre Dame stay independent?
While ACC noticed, the college football world hasn't really made much of FOX's attempt to land the ACC. It should be a big deal that there is a new player willing to spend money. I am sure the Pac 10 and Big XII are now planning on FOX to open up the checkbook for them. However, I think a different program will benefit...Notre Dame.
One of FOX's objectives was a national Saturday game. Much of their fall Saturday's have afternoon baseball, so a national game would probably have to have a noon ET start time. The ACC could have accommodated that. The Pac 10 could not. The Big XII might but that means a lot of 11:00 am local starts. Notre Dame -- even with South Bend's funky timezone thing -- probably would be willing to play games at noon. It wouldn't be the same exposure they get from NBC, but money talks. If FOX pays the Irish in the neighborhood of the ACC's $17 million I am sure ND will play the early game Saturday.
If the ACC had taken the FOX offer, I doubt ESPN would have broken the bank for the Irish. They have enough content and get enough Notre Dame via their road games against other schools.
With FOX as a free partner with deep pockets, Notre Dame can either move or leverage the interest to get more money out of NBC. A decent contract will placate those around Notre Dame who want the Big Ten's money.
What does this all mean for BC? If Notre Dame joins another conference, we will probably never get back on their schedule. As long as they remain independent, they will have to talk to us...especially if there is pressure from their TV partners to find attractive, and proven ratings grabbing opponents.